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).

Unexpected pike!

A few weeks back I had a stroll up my local river in the evening. As it was getting dark I began to notice lots of fish activity on and around the shallows. These were not simply small fish rising but big seatrout careering about and bow-waving - presumably after minnows and other tiddlers. Now, in July, I had a couple of successful plugging sorties after seatrout so I was encouraged to try again. This time I spent a while catching minnows on a small hook and single maggot before venturing upstream armed with a spinning rod, fine braid, a small circle hook and a live minnow. Not a sniff!! For whatever reason the fish didn't seem to be interested in my offerings. Anyway, after a while I decided to add a small weight and to paternoster the minnows in deeper, slower water - just in case.

Of course it was not the magic solution and nothing much happened until I was about to pack in. In a last attempt I lowered my minnow into a deep hole beside some lily pads. Almost at once the line tightened and I was into a pike. No monster but a nice, fat fish of perhaps five pounds. I landed it (nicely lip hooked), unhooked it and slipped it back before once more lowering a minnow into the same spot. I was quite surprised when another, similar pike immediately engulfed the bait and the whole scenario was repeated. At least the circle hook had saved me from being 'bitten off'. "Better than nothing!" I thought as I drove home.

Despite the lack of success with the seatrout I had one more go at freelining minnows before the end of the season (October 31st) and this time I added a fine wire trace in case of pike (I couldn't be so lucky as last time). As before the trout were uncooperative but I did manage to hook another pike - this time in shallow streamy water. I have to say it was a bit of a disappointment. Perhaps I should have stuck to my successful plugging tactics or even tried a wet fly but that will have to wait until next 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 -

Unexpected pike.

No monster, not what I'd hoped for and a bit of a disappointment.

Circle hook.

As always nicely hooked in the jaw on the circle hook.


An interesting picture of a well hooked little pike.