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).

07 September 2009.

First eel.

It's quite a while since I went plugging on the local river so the other day I tied on a small buoyant jointed Rapala, put on the chesties and set off for an hour's fishing. It was a nice sunny afternoon and I battled my way through the nettles down to the shallows that I hadn't fished since last season. As I approached the river, to my surprise, I saw that someone had beaten me to it. Another angler was already standing knee deep in the water and casting a fly into the riffle. I asked if he'd had anything yet and he said "No!" He also commented that it was unusual for him not to get one or two small trout from the fast flowing water. He was very friendly and when I said that I'd hoped to wade and fish upstream of his stance he told me to "Go ahead!" although he apologised that he'd already given it a pasting with the fly. I thanked him, waded past and began to cast up and across. Within five minutes I hooked and lost a decent trout then, a little later, a larger one took the plug and again came unstuck. By now I was approaching the tail of the upstream pool. I made a long cast into the slack water and 'bang!' I was into a fish. My catch turned out to be a small pike which I unhooked and released without landing it, thankful for the short wire trace. This seemed good considering that the stretch had just been covered. On the way back down I dropped yet another trout so I switched the lure for a small unjointed plug. At the bottom end of the riffle I landed several modest perch from the next pool down. Excellent!

The following day young Ben and I went to a different stretch of river. In fact we started off fishing for baits using float-fished maggot. Ben landed a succession of small fish, dace, roach, gudgeon and the like from the clear shallow water. After we'd been fishing for twenty minutes or so young Ben pointed out an eel that had been attracted by the maggots. He'd never caught an eel before so he asked if he could have a go. His next fish on the maggot was a minnow so I suggested that he tried it for eel bait. We changed the gear by taking off the float tackle and attaching a larger hook. On went the minnow and sure enough, first cast, the eel grabbed the bait. Ben was chuffed. We returned the eel and by now a couple of smaller ones had appeared. They were just as keen to take the bait but, every time, they managed to spit it out without being hooked. I suggested that we went home and returned to fish for larger eels that evening. To cut a long story short we did exactly that and never had a bite. Bizarre! Why would the eels feed so well in bright sunshine and yet refuse to take baits at dusk? There's always something to think about in fishing.

Jack pike.

This one took my Rapala - these are the little devils that force me to use a wire trace.


This was one of several perch caught after changing the plug.

First eel.

Ben was really pleased to land this one and impressed by the battle.