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).

12 March 2008.

Three trips.

I've been fishing three times in the past week and I went to two different stretches of river, neither of which I'd fished before. My first session was a complete blank apart from the fact that I met and spoke to two other pike anglers. The first one had two float rods and a plugging rod and had caught a couple of jacks - no surprises in that. The second chap had just fished for twenty minutes, with a big shad, over the section in which I'd just failed to evoke a bite on my spoon. He said that he'd landed a small jack, a ten pounder and lost a 'monster'. Now 'monsters' are a scarce commodity in the river we were fishing so I was quite interested in his near success.

Two days later I went to the section again, this time with some live and dead baits. To cut a long story short I managed only three fish of five to seven pounds - again more or less what I expected, so the 'monster' remains a mystery. That's 'monsters' for you.

My third trip was with a pal, Richard Gardiner. Richard and I get together occasionally and he suggested that we tried a stretch that he knew quite well and on which he'd had good fish in previous years. We started fishing on a wide, slow flowing section that Richard regarded as a 'hot spot'. Richard used a small silver Euro Vibe type lure and I was fishing with a little, shallow diving plug - we were both hoping for big perch I think. Richard was the first to hook up and, to our surprise landed a trout. We fished on upstream and Richard's next fish was a small jack. By now I had got the message about my plug (too small not deep enough) and I switched to a Bulldawg in hope of a pike. It worked and before long I was playing a decent pike (not a 'monster' though).

We tramped back down to where we started. By now Richard was fishing with a deeper diving plug and I was still using the soft plastic lure. I was soon into my second fish, not quite as big as the first, then a decent pike swirled at Richard's plug right on the surface. After he'd had another go he invited me to try for it. Second cast I felt a knock and then a few metres closer the pike grabbed the lure and promptly let go again. That was the last we saw of it.

Not a 'monster'.

The natural bait and circle hook proved more effective than the spoon.

- another not a 'monster'.

The circle hook strikes again.

Ready for the net

The same pike ready to land.

Richard's trout.

Caught from a most unlikely spot.


This fish took the plastic lure almost in the margin.

Ready for unhooking.

I just leaned down and slid the hook out with my pliers.