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).

Minnows for bait.

Having now had a go with the new, ultra fine braid I realised that it gave me the option of freelining quite small baits on the river. Anyway, the other day I decided I would try livebaiting with minnows and set off with two rods, one to catch the minnows and the other for use with the livebaits. I began by float fishing with a small (for me) hook and a single maggot. As soon as I started it was apparent that I would have no problem catching bait. It was another hot sunny afternoon and, as soon as the float hit the water it was attacked (the only way I can describe it) by a horde of minnows. The little fish were jumping at the float and generally knocking it about - amazing!!!! Anyone know why?

Anyway, within minutes I had a dozen decent baits in my plastic bucket and I set off wading upstream, casting into likely spots as I went. The tackle consisted of my fine braided line, half a metre of eight pound nylon and a size six circle hook nicked through the upper lip of the minnow. I had no problem casting ten or fifteen metres with only the weight of the hook and the minnow and first cast, to a hole under a big bush, I felt a tug on the line but when I tried to tighten the line had tangled on a reed and the fish let go before I could hook it. Bugger!

I plodded on and about ten minutes later I dropped the minnow into the head of a riffle about a foot in depth. Almost at once the line tightened and as I wound down the fish was on. Excellent! As I played it towards me in the clear shallow water I could see that it was a chub of about two-and-a-half pounds and it was followed by one slightly smaller. the fish was beautifully hooked in the upper lip so that's one up to the circle hook. Apart from a couple more missed taps I had nothing else before it was time to leave. Another angler after chub said that 'He'd seen a few but they weren't interested in anything' so I was well pleased with my small catch. There are lots of seatrout about so I must give it a go for them at dusk sometime before the season ends.

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 -


Not the biggest one I've ever caught but I know where there are some biggies to test the tactics on.


Sadly, the hook is masked by a bit of weed. I must be more careful.