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).

Mixed fish.

With the recent warm weather I've been thinking about going down to the coast. I did actually try one day but, sadly, it was a day for surfing rather than fishing. Despite the nice weather and lack of wind there was a huge swell which made it virtually unfishable. Anyway, the rivers have been up and down like yoyos and my one effort to catch perch on a no2 Mepps was futile apart from the odd pike. Next time I went I managed to catch a couple of baits and had two pike of round about double figures on the circle hook.

The following attempt was almost a complete failure because I couldn't even catch a bait. I tried half a dozen places, any of which will usually produce a few dace or roach but all I caught on the maggots was minnows. Pathetic! By the end of the week it was really warming up (unbelievable for the time of year) so I thought I'd have a look at one of the local lakes. I still had a few maggots so my first thoughts were to catch little rudd and try for a big perch - futile! the rudd were not going to cooperate. I don't think that my (normal) crude tactics were to blame because one chap said he had been there all day for one bite.

As I walked round the lake I saw a couple of carp basking in a reed bed, so, I picked up my four piece spinning rod, tied ona baited a size 6 barbless hook and baited it with a lump of crust. At he same time I threw three or four bits of bread onto the water at the edge of the reeds. For half-an-hour there was no action at all and I was becoming restless. Suddenly I saw a couple of smallish carp sidle up to my freebies and after making one or two swirling passes at the bread two of the crusts were taken. I baited my hook again and lobbed it out in the general vicinity of the feeding fish. They disappeared. Usually carp return to the spot where they've found food so I waited, and waited and waited.

For perhaps twenty minutes I saw nothing then suddenly a big pair of rubbery lips came up and sucked in my bait. I grabbed the rod and the fish was on. After a bit of a tussle to keep my adversary out of the reeds I had it in the net - a beautiful fully scaled mirror of about seven or eight pounds. I was chuffed.

By now it was approaching home time so I opted to walk round the lake 'fish spotting' on my way back to the car. It was at this point that I saw the 'one bite angler' with his float gear. I crept past him and as I got to the tree lined stretch of water suddenly I saw carp everywhere, some of them a good size. Clearly I'd been fishing in the wrong spot. I had a bit of white loaf left so I progged a match box sized portion on the hook and lobbed it out. I cast over the twigs of an overhanging beech tree perhaps a metre above the surface, so that when I tightened the line it was vertical and only the crust was in the water. It was only five minutes before a decent carp inspected the bait and after a couple of swirls sucked it in. I picked up the rod and the fish tore off into a sunken tree. Heavy sidestrain, with the rod tip submerged, extracted it and after that it was five minutes of hanging on as it plunged repeatedly away. When I eventually landed the carp it weighed just over twenty pounds - not bad for my first trip of the year.

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 -


this pike took my Mepps intended for perch.

Got it.

Fortunately the pike was lip hooked and easy to release.

Circle hooked.

One of my pike nicely hooked in the jaw as usual.

In the net

Not a bad fish.


My abortive bait fishing session only produced these little chaps.


This nice little carp was my first catch from the lake.

Better one.

What a good start.  All down to the unseasonably warm weather.