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).

03 April 2009.


It's always a bit tricky when you make the first sortie of the new season. In some ways it's almost like taking up fishing all over again. This week I took advantage of the warm spell to try for carp in a couple of local lakes. I have to say I was a bit doubtful - Would there be any carp about? Would they be feeding? Would they be interested in taking baits off the top? Would my usual tactics still work? Only one way to find out!

I had just a couple of slices of bread in a bag, a net, a spinning rod, a reel loaded with braid and a single, size six, strong, barbless carp hook. Creep to the water's edge. Bait up with a lump of crust and lower it through the gorse bush onto the water. Lay down the rod supported on a handy branch and wait!!!! After five minutes I saw a decent carp swim past about ten metres from where I stood - that was hopeful. I lobbed a couple of free offerings of crust to where the fish had been. Sure enough, after another five minutes one of them was sucked down with a loud slurping. Even more encouraging.

Meanwhile, at my feet the bait still lay quietly on the surface under my rod tip. Suddenly whang! Over went the rod and a fish was on. Not as big as the one that had taken my freeby but satisfying for all that. there was a bit of a tussle then I had it in the net, about twelve pounds. I took a couple of pictures then i released the fish without even lifting the net from the water. Time to try somewhere else.

I moved on round the margin to a shallow reedy spot that I like. As I walked there were a couple of hefty swirls right in the edge. I'd scared some basking carp. A hopeful sign. I put down the net and baited up with another lump of crust. this time I swung it out to a small space between the reeds. To judge from the rustling and waving of the reed stems there seemed to be fish everywhere. It was not long before one found my bait, took it and tore away. again after a short struggle I had it in the net, a leathery skinned fish with a row of big scales along its back. Very fat but only about eight pounds. Another picture, unhook and release it from the net. Wonderful! Time to go home for tea.

Gorse bush

See the piece of crust on the surface. This is exactly where I had my first carp.

In the net.

A nice common in good nick.


Again the arrow shows where my bait was taken.

In the net again.

A fatter fish but not as heavy as the first one..