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).

Anything but perch.

It was a beautiful day - we had a few of them last week - and I decided to stretch the legs and try for a perch in my local river. Now it's no good pretending that perch are common there because they aren't. The river was extremely low for the time of year and the water was crystal clear so I was quite optimistic. Anyway, I tied on a J9 Rapala with a short length of 15lb wire trace - for fear of pike - and after a quick lunch I set off.

I'd barely fished for five minutes, combing the slacks and glides with my little plug, when a grey torpedo loomed up behind it and hooked itself. Salmon kelt! Of course I didn't want to catch a kelt but they are so aggressive at this time of the year that any lure is likely to be attacked. The camera was in my pocket so as I played the fish in I snapped a couple of pictures before slithering down the bank and unhooking the fish where it lay in the water. Try again mike. Another ten minutes spinning and a second kelt took the lure but fortunately came unstuck. next it was a jack pike which I had to beach to get the hooks out with my pliers, then a larger pike - perhaps six or seven pounds.

I moved on downstream and promptly hooked two more kelts. The first one came off after a few seconds and the next one had to be unhooked. Finally I reached a fast flowing stretch and casting directly downstream I began to inch the little plug back upstream in the powerful flow. Almost at once there was a snatch and I was into a heavy fish. It didn't have to fight because the current did all the work for it. I backed away upstream gradually gaining line. After a minute or two I saw a big fin wave above the ripples - a nice pike of perhaps ten or twelve pounds. I eased the check a little bit and continued to pump the fish towards me but just when I was taking the camera out of my pocket it gave a wild lunge and the hooks came away. Ah well! No perch but bites from three pike and four salmon kelts, an entertaining couple of hours.

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 -


Well mended but a real nuisance when you're after coarse fish..

Another shot.

Ready for the hooks to be removed.


They really are a pain in the bum at this time of year when you are after other species..

Small pike.

I'd normally shake these off in the water but it was too well hooked and had to be beached.