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).

Canal perch.

My pal Paul Froom keeps me updated with his freshwater fishing exploits. As the coarse fishing season approached its end he was catching some nice perch and I thought his little anecdote covering a few sessions was interesting.


With the drop in temperatures I thought it was going to be hard but when I saw the canal I knew it was going to be even harder that I suspected. I felt a bit guilty as I had invited along a couple of friends to have a go.

It was crystal clear and how I wished I taken spinning gear. Ordinarily you can see small roach milling about but with it so clear next to nothing was moving. I did see one small roach venturing forth but that was nailed by a jack pike.

There isn't a great deal to report. I blanked completely. My brother-in-law managed 3 small perch and a slightly better one that needed a landing net. My other friend had brought a spinning rod and managed two small pike for his troubles. Better than nothing considering the circumstances.

The odd thing was all afternoon a decent pike was prowling up and down the margins. Ashley tried it with a variety of lures and nothing seemed to "move" it or indeed spook it. We started to speculate that it might be ill. Eventually Ashley decided to try and net it with his landing net. Success! It was captured with no fuss. It was blind in both eyes and was very lean. It weighed 11 1/4 lb but should have been a lot more at this time of year. We quickly returned it to the water.

As the light finally started to go fish did start feeding. There were signs of small roach moving and there were quite a few predator strikes tight under bushes. The only way to get to these would have been with a pole - I challenge anyone to cast that accurately. Unfortunately my pole isn't long enough for that section but I do know one section where I can reach the full width.

Photo's of nice big perch will have to wait!



His next email was as follows -


Well here is the promised perch photo. I managed a 40 minute trip spinning just behind the church in the village where I lived. I was actually expecting pike but no joy. Instead I had a nice perch - guesstimate is a bit over a pound.

I hope to get out Sunday so fingers crossed for something a little bigger.

By the way the plug is a Little S.


- and then -


Congratulations on the bass. That's quite early isn't it?

I hope to be out tomorrow late afternoon and evening and if temperatures hold up I will be quite hopeful.

I might get chance to get down to the coast at Easter. I have got some extra work so that might get in the way!

We have also booked a week in the Lake District at Easter. Fishing tackle will be taken and fingers crossed for some brown trout. I don't care if they are tiny, I just want to catch some!



- and then -


Interesting session today. This trip I was accompanied by an old friend of mine, Alan Sheldon, and the last few days have been nice and mild so I was quite hopeful.

As we pulled into the car park about 3pm the sun was warm and the canal had a tinge of colour to it so all was looking good. Tactics were the same as previously; start off with maggot and switch to lobworm as the sun starts to set. We set up about 30 metres or so apart, close enough to be social without being right on top of each other. Alan's swim was adjacent to a large Phragmites reed bed whereas mine was opposite overhanging branches.

On the tiddler front Alan definitely edged it catching perch, roach, bream, gudgeon and ruffe (a first for Alan). I had the same minus the ruffe. As light fell I switched to lobworm and Alan stuck with maggot. The big perch did not come on the feed as as I had hoped. The sky was clearing and temperatures dropping rapidly. We both managed some nice perch however.

At about 6.15 I struck into what I knew was a nice perch, I called to Alan only to see he was also playing a decent fish, also a perch. When both were landed it looked like a brace of 2lb'ers, sadly Alan's was a tantalising 1lb 15 oz and mine crept over the magic figure to weigh in at 2lb 2oz.

Though we continued to fish to 7.00 we had no more interest. By the time we headed back to the car the moon was out and casting shadows. Clear and cold, with 3degC on the car display as we headed home. Another enjoyable session over.



- and then -


I decided to go out after roach for a change and opted to fish nearer the village. From observation more "open" sections, i.e. not enclosed by trees, are more productive for roach.

Set out from home at a little after 5.30pm and fished to just after 7.30pm. In total I landed two fish, both roach, bait was bread. First fish was the largest and was caught at 6.30pm and weighed 15oz.

This is the biggest roach I have caught for years. When I was in my late teens I doubt I would have even bothered weighing it! But there were no perch or bream in the canal back then. Or boats for that matter.

As you can see from the photo it is a very clean fish.


So that's all folks. What a cracking pair of perch. I must try to join Paul for a spot of stripey fishing some time.

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 -

Paul's first.

This one took a little S plug (just visible on the left).


What a wonderful pair of perch.


Sadly , I still tend to think of them as bait but they are beautiful fish.