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).

17 July 2009.

More Brazilian fishing.

It's a legacy of the disruption after my holiday. I went fishing to the local river this week but when I got there I discovered that I'd left the camera in my office where I'd been downloading Brazil pictures. Anyway I fished for an-hour-and-a-half and after a slow (biteless) start with my little 5cm Rapala I began to catch fish. The river was low, clear and thickly weeded but after a while I had several perch up to about a pound from under the shade of some trees. I also lost a bigger fish - a chub or more likely a pike from the way it fought. Encouraging!

I waded back upstream to the big pool in which I'd failed to get a bite at first. I chucked the little lure into the tail of the pool and hooked a smallish brown trout then a small perch. I looped on a half ounce weight about a metre above the lure and cast into the deeper water. Bang! It was taken by a pike which I played in and unhooked in the water - about six pounds. No more bites so I paddled round to the head of the pool, still with the weight in place. This time I had bite after bite and proceeded to land a series of perch ranging from half-a-pound to almost two pounds, great stuff!

Apart from the lack of pictures it was a good first session back in the UK Anyway, I'll finish off with a bit more Brazilian fishing and add a few extra plant and wildlife pictures just to make up the deficiency. We managed two sessions from small boats while we were away. The first time we fished at dusk in the River Paraguay. It was huge but I was informed that it is just a tributary of the Parana River which reaches the sea way to the south in Argentina. The Paraguay is a blackwater river with a heavy 'peat' stain. It was late afternoon as we motored upstream to a spot where other local boats were already fishing (never a good sign in my view). Our guide motored us into a bed of water hyacynth where we stuck fast so no need for an anchor. We had loads of bait - crabs and knife fish - Richard baited his two rods with one of each. I decided to spin with a Chase plug.

I can't honestly say it was exciting fishing - we didn't see any of the other anglers catch anything while we were there and the mozzies were a bit of a nuisance. However, Rich began to get bites almost at once on his knife fish baits. Almost every time they came back minus four fifths of the body with only a head and shoulders remaining on the hook. Piranhas! They were obviously everywhere. I plugged away and eventually hooked a small catfish which took the plug almost at the surface. I had a couple more bites but failed to hook them, obviously not big fish. So much for the Paraguay.

Our next session was in the middle of the day on a totally different river, the Aqui Douana, so loaded with thick brown silt that you couldn't see a couple of inches down. This time the boat was tied up to a handy bush while we fished. We had small silver fish for livebaits which I opted to use while Richard tackled up his 4Surespin and baited up with a whole giant worm. Again the fishing was slow and we moved a couple of times after short, biteless attempts. At about the fourth place Rich had a decent bite on the worm and hooked something that went like a train. Time and again the fish tore line off against a firm clutch and at one point it managed to wrap itself round a sunken branch. We untied the boat and drifted down a little way to free the line and once again the battle was on. It must have been quarter of an hour at least before we saw any sign of his fish which turned out to be a twelve kilo (25lb) pau catfish. A hell of a fish. What it must be like to hook a big one (they grow to 200kg) I just can't imagine.

My livebait (still being legered in vain hope of a dourado) remained untouched and it was not long before Rich had a second, somewhat smaller pau. As he was playing his fish I wound in my livebait and laid the rod down so the bait was just dangling on the surface over the bow of the boat. I picked up the camera to take a few pictures. As Rich's fish came to the net I saw the tip of my rod whang round into the water. I grabbed it but it was too late, the dourado had nicked my bait off the hook right on the surface only half a metre from where I sat. So near and yet so far!

Big cats.

These wonderful metre-long catfish were in an ornamental pond at a place where we stayed..


These common river fish are vegetarian and love seeds, including sweetcorn.  The ones in the picture are about 3-5kg each and we were feeding them (but no fishing was allowed).

The Paraguay River

Boats were simply wedged into the water hyacynth while we fished.


One of the baits we used on the Paraguay - the pacu were not interested.

The Aqui Douane.

A local pacu angler using a bamboo rod and bread paste bait.

We're on our way.

Rich seems pleased to be doing a spot of fishing at last.

He's in!

The old 4Surespin well bent into a good fish.


What a fish and it has convenient handles to pick it up by.


Three species of these wonderful parrots were common.

Don't know?

I couldn't identify this but it was common and impressive.


This would look good in my garden but it was a roadside weed.