Catch fish with Mike Ladle.

Catch Fish with
Mike Ladle


Information Page

For anyone unfamiliar with the site always check the FRESHWATER, SALTWATER and TACK-TICS pages. The Saltwater page now extends back as a record of over four years of (mostly) sea fishing and may be a useful guide as to when to fish. The Freshwater stuff is also up to date now. I keep adding to both. These pages are effectively my diary and the latest will usually be about fishing in the previous day or two. The Tactics pages which are chiefly 'how I do it' plus a bit of science are also updated regularly and (I think) worth a read (the earlier ones are mostly tackle and 'how to do it' stuff so if you are new to fly fishing or spinning these are the ones for you).

02 January 2008.

Happy New Year!

My third son, Richard, stayed with us over the New Year and we managed one afternoon fishing trip to the river. It was a dull, mild afternoon with only a spot of drizzle to dampen our enthusiasm. The first task was to catch bait which Richard did, in the form of big dace, without too much trouble. On his 'last cast' with the maggots he hooked a much more lively fish which turned out to be a modest trout. Rich doesn't get too many chances to fish these days and it was a bit of an effort to tear ourselves away from the maggot fishing to have a go for pike.

Conditions seemed perfect. The water was pretty clear and there were several prime looking spots. However, at first things looked a bit grim. By the time we got to the fourth pool Rich hadn't even had a bite. We slogged on through the muddy fields until we reached a ditch opening into a reed lined slack. Richard dropped his float in and the bait promptly tried to bury itself in the bankside reeds. Mistake1 The reeds heaved and the float shot under. After a couple of minutes play it became clear that the pike was a good one and I was just immersing the net when the fish came unstuck - what a downer! Another bait and five minutes later a second fish was hooked, not quite as big as the previous one. Blow me if it didn't do the same thing. As it was drawn towards the rim of the net it came off. A bit frustrating.

We moved on to another spot. This time it was a small slack, only a metre or so across, in a deep swirling pool. The take was almost instantaneous and this time the pike nicked the bait straight off the hook. Richard's efforts seemed to be cursed. Time was pressing and the bait supply was running out by now, so we moved on to the next pool. This time Rich hooked and landed a nice pike - phew! That was our last bait gone. I suggested that we might try the 'Sandra' soft plastic lure that I'd purchased that morning. I'd already armed it with a 6/0 single and a 49 strand wire trace so on it went. Rich returned to the spot where he had had his bait stolen. He cast out and held the lure in the flow just on the edge of the little slack. Within ten seconds we saw the pike dart out and grab the wiggling plastic. Rich struck and it was on. After a spirited battle we had the fish in the net. A nice fat double - not a bad way to start the New Year.


Richard trying to catch a few baits.


No monster but a very lively catch.

It's on!

This was Richard's first take - a fish pushing twenty pounds but it came off at the net.

Last gasp.

An 8 inch, unweighted, Sandra lure that I'd just bought to try out. (I'd have liked a bigger one).


A fine, fat pike taken on the soft plastic - excellent!