Catch fish with Mike Ladle.

Catch Fish with
Mike Ladle


Information Page

06 March 2003

'Joe's' pike.

I mentioned last week that my friend Joe had lost a good pike, probably due to not striking firmly enough. The fish had taken three times and eventually would not bite again so we had to leave it. Anyway, I said that I would try and catch it this week to see how big it was. My first attempt was on the Monday and, as usual bait was difficult to come by. I ended up wobbling a small dead roach and although I spent the best part of half-an-hour in the spot where Joe had lost his fish there was no sign of the pike. I did catch a smaller fish in the mouth of a feeder stream (a male running with milt as a matter of interest) but that was all.

A couple of days later the weather became quite a bit milder and I decided to have another go. Again the bait refused to cooperate but just as I was about to pack in I hooked a fish of about half-a-pound. There were no more bites so I decided that I would have to make do with my single bait. I walked down to the river with my rod set up, the bait in a bucket and my hopes high - to cap it all the sun was shining and it was very springlike.

I tied on a wire trace armed with a single circle hook, slipped a bottle cork onto the line, half-a-metre above the trace, lip hooked the precious bait and lowered it into the appointed spot. It swam round for about a minute with the cork bobbing and ducking before it slowly submerged and stayed down. I tightened the line and could feel the weight of a pike on the end. A smart tighten of the line resulted in a screaming reel and a bit of a struggle before I was able to land the fish.

It was almost certainly Joe's pike of last week and weighed just over eighteen pounds. After taking a couple of pictures I slipped it back into the river - a good five minute session!

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March 6th 2003

Joe piking - last time.

My float went down in exactly this spot.

My first view of the fish.

Note the slightly kinked back - a genetic deformity fairly common in pike.

Ready to land.

The cork is still on the line.

Beautifully hooked.

No way this fish would have come off but easy to unhook and release.