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).

Ben's First Carp.

Young Ben came to stay with us at the weekend so as usual fishing was on the agenda. Our first sortie was at 04.30 (he has no trouble getting up - amazing for a teenager) and we went to the coast. Both of us were spinning with plugs but there was nothing doing. We walked a mile or two and did quite a bit of paddling about but neither of us had a sniff. Our pal Phil, who was also down for an early morning session, was also fishless.

The notable thing was the number of gill nets arrayed about the shore - there must have been miles of them in total and most were set perpendicular to the water's edge in very shallow water. Ben had borrowed my old chesties (he now has size 8 feet) and he soon discovered that they had a puncture. After the initial shock of the cold water it didn't seem to bother him and he cheerfully waded about up to his waist. He even managed a belly laugh when I ventured onto a slippery slope and finished up on my back in three feet of water - "Just like a giant starfish!" was how Ben described it.

That afternoon we had permission to go again and I suggested that we try for carp. Now Ben doesn't like carp fishing. I've taken him two or three times and we have not yet managed to catch one so he thinks that it's "SLOW". In fact last year he resorted to taking a chair and a book to break the monotony. This time I persuaded him to fish and we both armed ourself with free line gear, barbless hooks and big cubes of breadcrust. It was a lovely sunny afternoon but when we arrived at the lake the omens were not good. We passed a couple of blokes in bivvies with all the kit - three rods, buzzr bars, barbecue, the lot! I asked how they were doing and it turned out that one of them had caught a fish the night before - it confirmed Ben's worst fears.

Anyway, we wandered round to a reedy patch, flicked our crusts out into the reeds, laid down the rods and waited. Within minutes there was swirling and knocking of stems near the baits. Ben was suddenly alert! Perhaps five minutes after casting out a carp slurped in his crust, the line tightened, he grabbed the rod and it was on. I can't say that it was much of a battle and the carp's mouth suggested that it had been caught before by someone less careful than my grandson. To cut a long story short, we soon had the fish in the net, a nice common of twelve or thirteen pounds. Ben picked up his fish, I took a picture and he slipped it back into the lake. His first ever carp - he'll be going again!

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 -


Ben hard at it with a boot full of icy water and his spinning gear.

Gill net.

Ben paddled out to pick up the net while I took a picture.  It was full of sizeable, dead and by now rather manky looking mullet..

Common carp.

Always a relief when it's in the net.


Ben's first ever carp and a good incentive to try for another some time.