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).

Dace, roach and pike.

Fishing is often a puzzle. On the weekend before last, following a hard frosty morning, I decided to go and see whether the river was clearing enough to do a spot of pike fishing. I opted to take my little float rod and a few maggots with me to suss out the possibilities of catching some baits. To my surprise the fish were mad on. Virtually every cast the float dipped smartly under and out came another chunky dace or glistening roach. After catching a couple of dozen I packed in and went home. I knew that the weather forecast for that night was relatively good with no frost so I was confident that I'd be able to whip out a few baits the following day.

Sure enough there was no frost the following morning but, when I arrived on the river bank it felt distinctly chilly. Apart from the nip in the air it was a pleasant enough day so I tackled up, full of confidence. For the next hour or so I couldn't buy a bite. The fish were more or less dormant. In the hour I managed to land just one tiny dace and a trout parr, both of which went straight back. I was baffled.

Three days later I decided to have another go. Conditions seemed similar - no frost but still coolish - but this time the fish were biting. They weren't ravenous but within half-an-hour or thereabouts I had five nice baits in the bucket. I grabbed the tag reader to check for any tagged pike and set off. Five seconds after dropping my first bait in I had a fish which was tagged. It was unhooked, I read the tag, measured the pike, took a photograph and returned it. Next drop of the paternoster I had another bite within seconds of the bait hitting the water and landed a pike a bit bigger than the first one. Again this one was tagged so I went through the whole rigmarole again. Clearly things were looking up.

To cut a long story short within the next hour I managed three more pike, one tagged and two untagged. By then I'd run out of baits. Five pike in just over an hour - none of them monstrous - the best perhaps ten or eleven pounds. I really enjoyed my fishing. Must have another go soon

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 Lagden.

My pal Ben fishing for dace - he had one or two beauties round the half-pound mark.

A few potential baits.

These were caught on the good day.


Something had clearly removed the scales from the back half of this fish.  It's other flank was in the same state.


One of my tagged pike.


This one also had a tag in it.

Nicely hooked

With flattened barbs these circle hooks are easily and safely removed.  This fish was untagged..