Catch fish with Mike Ladle.

Catch Fish with
Mike Ladle


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18 March 2003 (Dan and me will be back from Australia in early April, hopefully with some interesting fishing news).

End of season pike.

Last week I decided to have one final go at the pike in the River Frome before the end of the season. I only had a couple of smallish baits so I was not too optimistic and for the best part of an hour there was no sign of anything. Anyway it was a lovely afternoon with the sun shining and the river in perfect condition at last, so I pressed on. Just downstream of a deep, fast flowing run was a little slack on my bank. The area of slow flow was no more than a metre wide and only a couple of metres long. Along the edge was a small patch of floating vegetation - just the spot for a pike to lurk in.

I dropped the bait into the slack and let it swing slowly round, suspended only about half-a-metre under the cork float. After a couple of circuits I began to lift the bait out so as to swing it back into the upstream end of the slack. As the bait emerged from the water it was followed by a 'Polaris' pike that missed, crashed back in and soaked me with spray. I plopped the bait back in, close to where the pike was last seen and waited. The time seemed to drag but it can't have been much more than a minute before the float submerged steadily.

I tightened and felt a heavy resistance. The pike moved out into the flow. I held the rod in my right hand and leaned back to pick up my little camera (always at the ready) with my left. The line began to rise in the water so I pointed the lens at where I thought the fish was and pressed the shutter - too late! It's never easy to fish and photograph at the same time.

When the pike was landed it proved to be a twelve pound female in good condition. I took a couple of pictures, unhooked it and returned it. On my way back to the car I decided to have a go in a small, overgrown ditch. Sure enough, within minutes of starting I had another bite and landed a fish of about three pounds, again hooked neatly in the lip. Good enough for my last afternoon's piking before I go to Australia. Hopefully when I get back at the beginning of April I will have some different pictures for the website.

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 -



March 18th 2003

Take a picture Mike - Missed!.

The pike was full of beans and cleared the water as it made its first attempt to take the bait.

A tired fish.

The twelve pounder ready for landing.

On the bank.

A female fish in prime condition.

Beautifully hooked.

So far every fish has been hooked in the scissors on my circle hook.

The three pounder.

Despite being much smaller the fish was again hooked in the scissors.