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 several 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. As you see I also add the odd piece from my friends and correspondents if I've not been doing much. 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).

Not big pike.

Since I got back from my holiday in the West Indies I've had little chance to fish. The rivers have been high and dirty and I have had so many things to catch up with. Anyway, the other day I knew that I should be catching a few more pike for tagging so I delved into the freezer to see if I had any suitable bait. The only things I could find were two very large, old dace that had clearly been in there for some time. I dug them out and poured warm water into the bag so that they would thaw out and become more flexible.

I donned my cold weather gear - hat scarf, fleece, waterproof etc. - and set off for the river in mid-afternoon. It was (for a change) a bright sunny day and I was unsure about the prospects. After a good half-hour with no sign of a pike I was beginning to wonder whether it was a bad choice. Anyway, I trudged through the mud 'til I came to a deep, slow run with an overhanging tree. In went the bait suspended under the usual cork and I let it slowly drift round giving it a twitch every so often to provide a semblance of life. After a couple of minutes there was a green flash and the cork zipped away. In the deep water I'd no idea how big the pike was but knowing the size of the bait I was hopeful. Wrong again! I tightened the line and could feel immediately that I was not attached to a submarine. In fact the pike put up a fair old tussle and there were bouts of tugging and head shaking (by the fish) before I could get it in the net - nicely hooked in the scissors despite the large bait.

After I'd checked for tags (it turned out to be number 0059) I put the pike back and continued fishing. In the next half hour I had bites from five more fish - all small and all failed to get the bait in their mouths properly (I wasn't prepared to wait five minutes for them to gulp it down. Anyway, Half-a-dozen takes on two baits isn't bad. I'll remember where the fish are for next time (either using a lure or a smaller bait) and it was a bit of fun just seeing them.

If you have any comments or questions about fish, methods, tactics or 'what have you!' get in touch with me by sending an E-MAIL to -

Got one.

The bait's not too big for the pike but it makes small ones tricky to hook.


Despite the size of the bait the debarbed circle hook is nicely situated for easy removal.