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).

15 December 2009.

Flood pike.

My fishing pal Nigel popped round to see me the other day. Like me Nigel had a bad dose of 'cabin fever', neither of us, it seemed, had been fishing for ages. Anyway, there had been no rain for two whole days and I thought that the river might have cleared enough for it to be fishable for pike. We arranged to have a couple of hours the following afternoon. It turned out bright and sunny but pretty cool - about as good as we could have expected.

I arrived first and tried to catch us a couple of baits. The first place I chose was a dead loss - not a sniff - so I moved to a hatch pool with a strong flow down the middle but a bit of a slack on either side. Good choice Mike! I soon had the dace feeding ravenously and by the time Nigel arrived I'd caught enough baits. He decided to give it a go, just to get the stiffness out of his rod arm and I took a few pictures of him catching dace on maggots. Then we set off to catch a pike.

We walked to the river and at the first pool we both baited up and chose our spots. In fact I was just lowering my bait into the mouth of a handy ditch when my buddy called that he had a fish on. I dropped my bait into a deep pool in the field and hurried to grab the camera. By the time I'd got there the fish had unhooked itself. Downer! I walked back to my rod and began fishing agin but I'd barely started when Nigel had another bite - presumably the same fish. Again I plodged across to where he stood and again the pike came unstuck. This time I decided to wait and see what happened. Sure enough it wasn't long before the pike had another go, Nigel waited a bit longer and this time his opponent was well hooked. The pike was clearly a decent fish and it was a little while before my pal slid it onto the flooded meadow.

Unusually the barbless circle hook was in the back of the mouth so I took my pliers and easily slid the hook out through the gills before cutting the line above the trace. I took a couple of pictures before we returned it - good start. We moved on downstream and the next spot was devoid of fish. In the third pool it wasn't long before Nigel had another run. This time the fish was nicely hooked in the jaw, as it should have been, we landed it again by sliding it onto the flooded pasture - dead easy. Not quite as big as the first one but still a good pike. Two fine fish in twenty minutes.

I'd like to say that we went on to catch a big bag of fish but in fact that was it - not another bite despite trudging through miles of mud and water. Still I suppose we couldn't complain with two double figure pike in what was, after all, a short afternoon session in pretty poor conditions.

Bait fishing.

A shortish rod is handy for float fishing in such a restricted space.

Got one.

Nigel unhooks one of the many dace we caught.  They ranged from tiny to about half-a-pound.

He's in.

This is about the furthest apart we fished and Nigel, jammy devil, is into a pike..


Good pike put a real bend in the rod..

His first pike.

This one was in the middle teens of pounds and caught within a few minutes of starting.

The second.

This one wasn't quite as big but a good specimen nonetheless.  Floodwater might be a pain but makes it easy to bank and unhook fish without lifting them from the water.