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).

04 March 2009.

Reuben's morning out.

Last week I went fishing with my friends James and Reuben. To be honest, although I know James pretty well (he's Reuben's dad) I'd never met Reuben before. He's six years old and although he'd been fishing a couple of times before our trip he'd not, as yet, managed to catch anything. James, after some years 'in the wilderness', was thinking of coming back to fishing encouraged no doubt by his son's enthusiasm.

Anyway, although we'd have preferred to go down to the coast I though that the best bet for our first session (at this time of the year) was the local river. We met at nine o'clock on the river bank and bearing in mind that we needed to catch something (anything) to sustain my credibility (such as it is) I'd rigged a simple float set up on a light spinning rod. We had some maggots for bait and I'd even trimmed one or two branches from overhanging alders to reduce the risk of catapulting the float, hook and shot into a tree. I showed Reuben how to hold the rod while his dad looked on and in plopped the baited tackle. Within ten seconds down went the float and young Reuben was battling his first ever fish - a cracking dace. After a few pictures and suitable words of admiration back went the dace and before long Reuben caught another, and another and another ........! Fantastic stuff.

By now we felt that the apprentice was ready for something bigger so we marched across the fields to try for pike in the main channel. Again the rig was simple - a cork, a wire trace and a circle hook baited with a suitable fish hooked through the snout. Despite the longer, heavier rod Reuben stuck at it manfully, even though the first two spots that we tried were apparently pikeless. The third place was a shallow reedy slack area. In splashed the bait and Reuben stood watching the cork bob about. Suddenly away it zoomed and a pike was on - or was it? The fish pulled hard dragging out line against the clutch but just as James was grabbing the net to land his son's prize the fish let go. It seemed that the bait was too big and the pike too small (although to be honest it still made young Reuben gasp at its power). A couple more times the same pike took and despite long waits for it to turn the bait, the crafty little devil let go again. That's fishing! All in all it was a wonderful morning. It certainly took me back to the real excitement experienced in my younger days and I'm sure Reuben enjoyed himself and that James felt exactly the same as I did.

When the weather gets a bit warmer perhaps we'll all go out and try for a few wrasse or even a bass. I can't wait.

His first.

Young Reuben with is first ever fish.  That feeling probably stays with you for ever.


Another one bites the dust (well anyway, the maggot).


Alive and kicking.

-and a pike

No monster but this is one I landed later that day, when I was alone.