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).

At last!

Anyone who regularly looks at the blog will have realised that I've neither been doing much fishing nor catching (m)any fish lately. In fact I've attempted pike fishing a couple of times and failed dismally. As a rule I couldn't even catch a bait and when I tried spinning the pike refused to cooperate. Of course I could make excuses but they don't hold water (although there's been plenty of that). I felt that no one was really interested in reading about how I'd spent hours trudging, knee deep, through glutinous mud just to get to the river bank so I didn't post any pages.

Anyway, at the weekend I decided to give it another go. It was a mild overcast afternoon and when I got to the river I found it was still over the banks but had cleared nicely. My spirits rose and I was quite hopeful as I chucked in a small handfull of maggots and progged a couple on the tiny hook. After five minutes it wasn't looking good, the float was absolutely immobile as it had been on my last two trips. Surely, I thought, it couldn't be another blank. I threw in another half-dozen free offerings and cast again close under my feet. The float shot under! I struck! Something pulled back! I could hardly believe it.

The fish wasn't very big but it was certainly lively and as I swung it in it dropped onto the wet grass. Success!!!!! It was a small, out of season trout (not quite Alan's NZ nine-pounder) but I couldn't have been more pleased if it had been a two pound roach. I quickly took its picture and returned it to the water before casting once more. Ten more biteless minutes passed before I became impatient and moved to another spot. This time I was fishing at the junction of two small streams and there was a decent current in them both. Just above the confluence there was a little triangle of almost still water so I let the float trot down until it reached the slack. Away it went and the strike met with a lively resistance but just as I saw that it was a nice dace (an ideal bait) the fish came unstuck. I could have cried but at least it looked promising.

Now, usually where there is one dace there'll be more but not this time. The next bite produced a decent grayling which put up the characteristic wriggling, reversing resistance. I landed the fish and again took its picture - perhaps this would be my last? No! Next cast I was into a bigger one and then a trout and then another grayling. before I set off on the mud and water assault course that is pike spinning I'd landed three trout and four grayling - none of which I could justify using as bait. However, on reflection it was good fun and at least it broke my recent run of ill luck. Perhaps next time I'll catch a pike?

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 -

First fish.

This little trout was a mighty relief.


They are wriggly, slimy and a bit smelly but I do like these fish.