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).

29 December 2008.

Boxing Day outing.

Greg wanted to catch a pike. He had done a spot of carp fishing but not much else and having heard about my grandson Ben catching decent fish had fired his imagination. Anyway, he was down staying with his inlaws (our son Marc and his wife - Ben's mam and dad) over the Christmas period so I said if he got himself a licence I would take him out on Boxing day. The mistake of course was that not only did young Ben and his dad want to come with us but Ben's brother Ashley (just back from a session on Everest) and Marc's brother Richard, an indomitable fisherman, also had to be invited along.

I managed to rustle up three sets of gear and after lunch on Boxing day (a cold but sunny afternoon as it turned out) the six man expedition set off. Richard and myself were the 'instructors', Ben just HAD to fish, Marc was dedicated to taking pictures (he likes doing that) and Greg and Ashley were the novice pikers.

When we got to the river's edge I baited Ben's hook, then Ashley's and as I was about to deal with Greg's tackle, there was a whoop of excitement from the watchers on the bank and away went Ashley's float. He tightened up the line like an expert and baiting Greg's hook was postponed while we watched the battle. The pike surged away in typical fashion and after a while we managed to net it, admire it and return it to the water. Good start!

The empty hooks were baited up and we began again. Within a few minutes the activities had spread out a bit. Richard took Ben and Ashley upstream and I showed Greg what I thought was another likely spot. The next shout came from young Ben. Sure enough he was into our second fish and all the palaver of oohs and aahs followed by netting, unhooking, photography and return to the water was repeated.

Time passed quickly as it does when you're having a good time and it was not long before the falling shadows and increasingly cold hands told us it was about time to pack in. The application of sod's law meant that Greg never caught his pike I'm afraid. However, we didn't lose any even on the single circle hooks in use and young Ben did manage a second fish and Richard landed a small one from an awkward spot. Four fish in a couple of hours was pretty good I suppose considering the army of people on the bank and the lack of experience. Next time I'll take Greg fishing on his own.

Two days later, on a much colder day, Nigel and I went to a different stretch of river. This time the pike were very reluctant to bite, even though it was another sunny afternoon. I failed miserably and dropped two fish (probably small ones) off the hook. Nigel managed to land his only bite so it wasn't a total blank. Anyway, that will be my fishing finished for a couple of weeks I'm afraid.

A Happy, Healthy New Year and lots of good fish to all my website readers.


Boxing Day madness.

Ashley into our first pike of the session, with Greg, at the back, still waiting to be baited up.

The happy angler.

Ashley's first ever pike, in fact it's the first fish he's caught since I took him wrasse fishing many years ago.


Perched precariously on the bank - back it goes.


He's well used to catching big pike these days but Ben was pleased to get this one.


Ashley displays Ben's second fish while the successful angler tries to warm up his hands.

The next trip.

Nigel into a pike on an even colder afternoon.


Better than nothing.  Certainly better than the ones I failed to hook.