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 fish of 2011.

Ben's brother-in-law Phil is quite a keen angler and he's done a bit of bassing with ben and myself in the last year or two. However, Phil had never seen, let alone caught, a pike. On new year's day we set out to try and rectify the problem with an afternoon on the local river. All three of us were armed with spinning rods, braided lines and circle hooks on knottable wire traces. My pals were both float fishing so that they could search the water and I had opted for a paternoster in order to keep the bait exactly where I put it.

We started by trying to catch a few baits but with the low water conditions the dace were not in a cooperative mood and we struggled a bit. Eventually we managed to land a few but they were mostly on the small side. However, beggars can't be choosers so off we went to try our luck.

On getting to the river we put Phil in what we thought was the prime spot and he lowered his bait into the water. I wandered a few metres upstream and dropped my paternoster into a gap in the overhanging brambles. Wallop! Within a couple of seconds the rod arched over as a pike took the bait. I tightened and called to the others that I had a fish on. Ben began to walk up towards me but before he arrived the fish had managed to release hook and bait. Bother!!!! (or words to that effect). I tried again in the same spot anticipating that the pike was probably still there and wondering what had happened to its meal. Perhaps one minute later the bait was taken again and this time there was no mistake. After a bit of a tussle Ben and I managed to land my catch - not a monster but a fine pike in good condition.

After showing the fish to Phil and returning it to the water I was about to rebait when there was a swirl and a splash as Phil's bait was taken. Ben stood by to help out while I took a few pictures. Excellent! It wasn't long before Phil was grinning as he held up his first ever pike. Two fish in ten minutes - good start. We moved on up to try a couple of new spots and it wasn't long before my paternostered dace was again taken. This one was hooked first time and Phil, being nearest, helped me to land it and took my picture.

After the third fish things slowed down a bit. I switched to a spoon to try and conserve bait and we worked our way downstream trying suitable pools on the way. It was some time before Ben managed to induce a bite. The fish fought well and was in mint condition when it was landed. It turned out to be the first of three for my pal so he made up for his slow start. All in all we had six fish between us for the afternoon including not only the first fish of 2011 but the first pike ever for Phil.

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 -

One for me.

My second pike of the session.  Ben's fishing in the background.

Phil's in!

Phil plays his first ever pike as Ben looks on.


The lads prepare to unhook Phil's fish.

Is he pleased?

I'd say so wouldn't you?


One of Ben's pike makes a spirited bid for freedom.

Nice one.

Ben displays his catch, clearly in good nick.