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).


I've been using my little black and silver, 9cm, jointed Rapala for sea trout in the past week or so. I know from past experience that this versatile lure will catch almost any predatory fish so I decided to give it a go for the perch and chub in one of my local rivers. However, last time I tried I failed to catch any perch from the fast flowing the head of a weir pool (they're usually there) so this time I decided to take along my livebait tackle and try paternostering a minnow for the perch.

The approach is simple. I catch some minnows on single maggot and then, using my spinning rod, I set up a simple paternoster with a small weight, a light, knottable-wire trace and a size 6 circle hook. The minnows proved easy to catch and after I had a dozen or so in my bucket I lip-hooked one and lowered it into the depths of the pool. Nothing for a few minutes and then I felt the tell tale bump of a take. I waited for a few seconds feeling the predator tugging at the bait and then I tightened the line. The fish was on and from the heavy thump, thump it was clearly a decent perch. Magic!

I landed the perch, perfectly lip hooked, and took it's picture before returning it to the water. About two pounds - good start. On the next cast I had another bite. This felt heavier and did not jerk and knock on the line - pike! This is the reason I always put a wire trace on even when I'm after fish with no sharp teeth. I landed the pike and put on a third minnow. Five minutes later - a second pike. That was enough for me so I released the unused minnows and switched back to my Rapala. In the tail of the weir pool I began to spin, watched by a bloke on the opposite bank who was clearly interested in what I was doing. On about the fourth or fifth cast I had a decent bite and found myself playing a fish. My audience asked what it was and I said probably a pike but then I had to revise my view when the dark grey back of a chub hove into view. I took its picture and released it before casting again. bang! Another chub and shortly afterwards a third. My little session was completed when I dropped a bigger chub (4-5lb) on the way in and then caught - another pike of a few pounds in weight.

I was pleased with the chub and the following morning I decided to go back to the same place for an hour's spinning before breakfast - just to see if the chub were still there. Sure enough they were. However, the first fish was a beautiful perch of perhaps a pound. This was followed by three more chub with the best one well over four pounds. All the fish took my Rapala. I shifted up to the slack part of the pool and my spinning produced a couple more pike. Then I went home for breakfast - well pleased.

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 -


these are the minnows ready for action.


A circle hook on a wire trace, a small pear weight and a nice fat minnow - irresistible!


This good perch took my first minnow and fought very well.


One of the two pike that took my minnows.


A modest chub caught on the plug during my first, afternoon, session.


A really nice perch on the Rapala just after first light.


One of the better chub caught by spinning.