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).

Minnows again.

I don't ever get bored with fishing but I do like a bit of variety. My recent efforts to catch perch fired me with enthusiasm and when I saw a couple of blokes float fishing minnows in a spot I'd never tried before I thought I'd give it a go. The next afternoon I took a light rod, a few maggots and a small plastic bucket to hold the baits and my spinning rod set up with a light paternoster and a small circle hook for the perch. It took me about two minutes to get half a dozen fat minnows, then I hooked one on and lobbed out my livebait into the deeper water. It was a hot, sunny day so I wasn't too optimistic but, within minutes, there was the knock, knock on the rod and I was into a nice perch. Next cast I had another one of similar size and I was feeling really pleased. On the third cast there was a heavier pull and this time the fish fought back. I'll never know for certain but I suspect that the culprit was a big perch because I could feel it thumping away on the rod top as I played it. It came unstuck! I said a few choice words and had another cast. This time the bite was different and when I tightened I was into a sizeable pike. Clearly the line was in the fish's mouth because after a while it bit through the fine nylon. Pike really are a pain. Hopefully the little hook won't do the fish any harm. Anyway, clearly the activities of the pike had 'put the other fish down' because I couldn't get any more bites despite twenty minutes of fishing.

Time for a change of tactics. I peered upstream and saw another bloke wading and casting a fly into all the likely shallows. I didn't want to disturb him so I looked round to see if there were any options nearer to hand. The only possibility seemed to be a glide under a big willow bush on the near bank so I took off the lead and tied on another circle hook. On went another big minnow and I flicked it, weightless, upstream to a point just below the bush. Instantly there was a pluck on the line and with my polaroids I could see a couple of decent chub sidling back under the cover of the branches. "Worth another go!" I thought. Flick and this time the bait fell half a metre further upstream. This time the pluck turned into a bit of a run so I tightened and there was a heavy sploosh at the end of my line. The chub struggled against the tension of the line but it had little chance and before long I was sliding a four pounder into the shallows to be unhooked. Excellent, my first chub on a free-lined livebait. I took a couple of pictures before releasing the fish. Another couple of casts produced no more action so I packed in.

As I put the gear away the fly fisherman came down and we had a natter about the fishing. He said he'd seen nothing at all on the shallows after fishing a nymph on the way up and a wet fly on his way back down so I was well pleased with my little catch of perch and chub.

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 -

First perch.

They are beautiful fish.  This one was pushing a pound I suppose and the next one I caught was similar.

Well hooked.

The circle hook has done its job and is firmly lodged in the jaw.  Pity the big fish wasn't so firmly attached - must try again.

The chub.

I know they don't fight but, like the perch, I think they are beautiful fish.


The hook in this case is behind the top lip.  It will be interesting to see how circle hooks fare when chub, with their rubbery mouths, are the quarry.