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).


With the saltwater conditions pretty horrible and the rivers in flood I decided (at long last) to try for perch in my local ponds. One or two people had told me that there were good perch present but I'd never caught even a small one myself. It's always a bit of an adventure when you try something new. Of course I've caught stacks of perch in other places but usually I fish on the surface for carp in these ponds so there's no chance of a stripy fish.

My plan was to fish a spot where there was a combination of overhanging trees and lily pads. I decided to use a live rudd (little rudd are so numerous that they are a pest when I'm after carp) so the first objective was to catch a couple of baits. My spare rod was armed with a little float and a single maggot for rudd catching and the other one was my bass rod with a simple paternoster, a small bomb weight and a size 6, barb-flattened, circle hook. I arrived at the water full of enthusiasm, only to find that there was already someone in 'my' spot. I was a bit deflated but I walked around the bank until I found another nice patch of water lilies, and set up stall to catch the bait.

The rudd proved just as easy to catch as I'd hoped and my old bucket soon held four of about 2-4 inches in length. I put the bait rod down, lip hooked the biggest bait (typical me) and lowered it under the rod tip as close to the lilies as I dared. It was only about three feet deep and the rudd jiggled the rod tip as it swam about - 'just right' I thought. For ten minutes nothing! My attention was just beginning to wander and I was wondering whether I'd chosen a poor spot when I felt the rod butt knock against my leg (I was sitting on the ground beside it). I grabbed the rod as it was pulled hard round by a fish that was heading into the vegetation. The fish, although a nice one, was no match for the tackle and I soon had it swimming near enough to slide into the net. A couple of pictures and back it went. I fished on for half-an-hour but there were no more bites so I went home.

Encouraged by my success, the following day I tried again. Blow me down, when I got there someone was already fishing in the place I'd wanted so I went back to where I'd had the perch for another go. Again the rudd were easy to catch and within ten minutes I was lowering my bait down by the lilies again. This time only about ten seconds elapsed before the rod started to dance. After a few seconds I tightened the line and I was into another nice perch, a little larger than the one on the previous day. Excellent! However, despite the prompt action I had no more bites. Perhaps a sunny afternoon is not the best time for it. Possibly I should try an evening or early morning session - if I do I must remember the DEET.

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 -


My rudd bait.  These little fish are pretty tough and lively so I was able to let all the spare ones free after my sessions.

Perch 1.

Well over a pound and much duller in colour than the ones I catch in the river.

Perch 2

Getting on for a-pound-and-a-half.  Where are the three pounders?