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).

24 November 2008.


I've been fishing for well over sixty years now and there are still times when I haven't a clue what the fish are doing. I suppose that's part of the fascination really. For example, the other day I decided to try and catch a perch or two from the river. I had some nice little dace baits and I set up a paternoster with a 10g weight and a small circle hook. The hook was tied onto a short length of fine, knottable wire 'just in case' of pike.

My approach is to wander along the bank looking for suitable holes with not too much flow and a good dressing of willow roots or reed stems. At each hole I lower the bait to the river bed and wait for a bite. Usually, if there's anyone at home, I don't have to wait long (a minute or two) before something happens. Generally the bait becomes agitated then I feel a knock on the line as it's attacked by a predator. I wait for a suitable length of time until I think that the bait has been taken (the tension on the line and the way it moves about are good clues), then I simply tighten and wait for the fish to swim off and hook itself.

On this occasion the first hole was fishless. I moved on. The next spot produced a sharp knock followed by the line cutting swiftly away to my right - 'jack pike' I thought. Sure enough a silver-green shape appeared and was soon brought to the bank and unhooked. The bay I was fishing was several metres across so I swung the next bait over to the opposite corner by the reeds. Another tug and pull produced a second pike not much bigger than the first.

In one swim after another, within minutes, my baits were engulfed by pike. The biggest was pushing double figures and a couple more failed to find the point of the small hook and managed to escape with the bait. Eventually I ran out of baits and packed in without having seen hide nor hair of a perch. That's fishing!

Not a perch.

Note the simple paternoster set up.

Another not a perch.

This one was in the same pool as the previous fish.

Yet another.

Because of the high bank I had to net this one.

The biggest.

This one, well hooked on the small hook, had a couple of strange dents in its flank.