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).

Sea trout again.

Encouraged by my last sea trout spinning session I decided to give it another go. Once again it was a warm, bright sunny afternoon (not what most people would think of as ideal sea trout conditions). Perhaps it's worth saying a bit about what I do. My lure is a J9f black and silver Rapala that fishes perhaps two feet down. The majority of the fish I've caught seem to come from close to the banks (often within a foot or so) and to maximise my chances I use two tactics. Either, by casting up and across I try to drop the lure hard against the far bank and then I retrieve just fast enough to make the plug work as it follows the bow in the line downstream. The second tactic is to cast downstream and across, let the lure work back to my bank without winding much at all and then to retrieve under and close to the near bank. A longer cast allows the plug to traverse the river more slowly so I vary the length of my casts a bit to cover the water at different speeds. The former (cast upstream) tactic has probably been more productive and I often see fish chase out from the bank after the lure.

This time the water had a slight tinge of colour from upstream rain and there was a stiff downstream breeze which had to be allowed for every cast. The first three-quarters-of-an-hour produced nothing and I'd worked my way well upstream. I turned and began to fish downstream as I walked back. Almost at once I felt a sharp double knock as the plug swung back under the near bank. 'Buns!' I said because I knew that the first chance is generally the best one. Sure enough the fish did not respond when I tried it again. I plodded on downstream and it was perhaps ten minutes later when I was almost at the end of a cast. The plug was on my side of the river and three or four metres downstream of where I stood when it was grabbed. The fish began to twist and turn like a dervish in an attempt to dislodge the hook but it was well on. This type of struggle is what I like least about trout and salmon. Runs and jumps I can cope with but twisting like a chunky eel is impossible to deal with and not much fun.

The fish soon tired, probably because of its wild exertions and, having decided that it was firmly hooked, I grabbed the camera to take one or two pictures. Then I knelt down on the grassy bank and slid my hand under its belly to haul it ashore. A fine five pounder with many more spots than the big fish I caught the other day. Does anyone know if the degree of spottiness is a sex difference? Anyway, I took a couple more shots and even managed one of me holding the trout before I slipped it back into the river. Excellent! Must try again while they are about.

Incidentally, the scales I took from my twelve pounder, before I put it back, said it had spent two years as a parr and had spawned four times so it was over six years old.

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 -

Nice one.

A beautiful, silver, black spotted trout.  Much prettier than the big one.

On the bank.

The grass is a nice soft cushion for the fish.


I don't understand why this piccy came out with all that contrast.  I'll get the hang of self portraits one day.