Catch fish with Mike Ladle.

Catch Fish with
Mike Ladle


Information Page

Freshwater Fishing

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).

First pike.

The weather never seemed to be quite right for a trip to the coast so I decided to have a dabble for pike. The rivers are incredibly low for the time of year and I had trouble finding any suitable places to catch a bait or two. The usual spots were no longer streamy and had turned into slow glides. As a result they were full of minnows and small dace - OK for perch fishing but not much good for larger predators. Eventually I managed to obtain two or three suitable baits and set off downstream.

The low water conditions meant that most of the pikey spots were very shallow and weedy. Anyway, I tried them all with the cork (float) set about a foot above the hook but the pike were not at home. After about half-an-hour I came to a deep slow run with a decent depth so up went the float and I walked down allowing the bait to run slowly on ahead of me. Whoosh! There was a green flash and down went the float - clearly a decent fish. I tightened and it was on. At this time of year the pike often fight well and this one was no exception. It was a minute or two before I felt I had it under control. I shifted the rod to my left hand and reached down to get the camera out of the bag. In doing this I must have released the pressure on the fish because it gave a violent lunge and came unstuck. Bugger!

I renewed the bait and moved on downstream. After about five minutes I reached a spot where there was a deeper hole under a fallen branch. Almost as I lowered the bait in it was grabbed by a jack of two or three pounds. I could see that the little pike had taken the bait by the head so, hoping to rescue the bait, I gave a shake on the rod and it came off. For another ten minutes there was no further action so I made my way back up to where I'd lost the larger fish. I took off the float and attached a short dropper and a small weight turning the 'rig' into a light paternoster. I lowered my bait into the spot where I'd lost the fish and, at once, I felt a bang as it was taken. Again I tightened and the fish was hooked. After a bit of a tussle I managed to get the pike into the net. Phew!!! The fish was hooked in the scissors on my circle hook so after a few pictures I slipped the hook out and let it swim off.

As I prepared to bait up again my pal Adrian arrived to ask how I was getting on. We walked upstream, chatting about the conditions etc. When I reached another deep glide, like the one that had produced my pike, I lowered another bait into the depths. Within seconds it was taken and after a bit of a struggle Adrian picked up the net and landed the fish - similar in size to the first one. Again it was beautifully hooked in the scissors. That was the last of the decent baits so, after trying a couple more spots, I went home to put my pictures on the computer.

Disaster! Somehow I managed to delete all the pike pictures in transferring them - nothing for the web page!!!! On the following day I decided to have another go on a different stretch of river (mainly to try and replace the lost pictures). This time I could only catch small baits so it was them or nothing. Again the fishing was slow, despite the good conditions (mild and overcast). Eventually, with the bait suspended about 20cm under the cork, there was a big swirl and the dace was taken. I played the fish in the shallow water, hoping that it would not come unstuck. It didn't. It proved to be about eight or nine pounds, smaller than the fish of the previous day but at least it was a pike. Again the hook was in the scissors - why did I ever use treble hooks for pike fishing?

This time I was more careful when I transferred the pictures - and here they are.

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!

At last I have a picture of a pike that I can use.

Well hooked!

All three decent fish were hooked exactly like this one.  The trace is a bit screwed up after two sessions of use.

Ready to go.

It will swim off once it realises it is free.