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).

Dan's Fishing!

It's quite a while since young Dan Jefferies sent me an email and it was clear from the first few words I read that he's what I call a real angler. Like many of my correspondents he and I have never met (we will fish together sometime this year no doubt), but when it comes to fishing we have a lot in common. Dan, it seems to me, will fish for anything with any method, although, at present he does quite a lot of lure fishing for pike in drains near his home. I've compiled one or two of his emails just to give a flavour of what I mean. It's a pity that more anglers aren't as open minded and thoughtful as this young man:-

Dear Mike

I'm 10 years old and I love fishing. Like you I love lure fishing and have made a guide on pike fishing which I thought you might like.

We fished on a boat from Swanage last year and the skipper (Tom) pointed out a beach where he said you often fish My aim this year is to catch a bass on a plug, maybe if we are down your way again we could meet up for a session.

Tight Lines

Daniel Jefferies

I replied to Dan's letter but, for one reason or another, the bass fishing never happened (it will this season). Anyway, we kept in touch and more recently I had the following email:-

Hi Mike

Hope you had a great Xmas.

I recently had the best pike fishing session down on the drain. First fish that I hooked, turned out to be a nice little perch of around 2lb. Second fish on the bank was a huge perch, about 4lb. Then a hard fighting pike of around 6-7lbs. After another hour, I managed to hook another pike, well I thought it was a pike by the way it fought. But then it hit the surface, it was a perch. This was by far the biggest perch I have ever seen. It had to be pushing 5lbs, maybe just under.

All the fish were caught on the ever faithful Dragon V lures which just keep catching fish.


I replied to say that I was going to Brazil to see my new granddaughter soon. I also commented on how good the perch were (It took me a few years more than Dan to catch a perch approaching that size), asking whether he had any pictures and moaning about the state of the river after all the rain (I'm getting old and grumpy). Dan responded:-

Hi Mike,

A few pics attached, hope you have a great time in Brazil.

I'm going to try some LRF fishing in the marina, I've read a few articles on it and I'm going to give it a go, what lures would you recommend for flounders, I have got some Power Isome Works which I'm going to try.


Now I'm no LRF expert so I wasn't much help but I sent him a relevant excerpt from my forthcoming book. I expect that he'll be telling me how to do it before long. I enquired what lures he favoured for piking/perching. He wrote again:-

Hi Mike

I have found that the Dragon V Phantom lures with black on the top, and white everywhere else work best, the perch love them as well. When the river was flooded, we found that grey ones with yellow bellies worked best. We have tried many different kinds of Dragon V lures, including the Lunatics, Busters and Mutants. They have all caught loads of fish. We tend to use these in 3.5inches, but in your rivers, where the fish are bigger, you might want a larger size or different colour. Sometime's when I spin for flounders, I use a stinger hook just nicked in the tail end of the lure, this also works well on mullet.

This year I was thinking about doing some LRF off our kayak for wrasse, pollack, mackerel and bass. Do you think that this would be worth a try?

Hope that the river is calms down a bit soon. My pike drain is flooded so I don't think I'll be doing any fishing there for a while.

Tight lines,


and then:-

Hi Mike

I Have been out today fishing for Flounders, I caught 4 including what everyone thought was a plaice, great fun on the light rod. Check out my blog

for a full report and pics. I used a paternoster with a couple of tiny 1 gram weights. Bait was rag worm.

Dan's blog is well worth a viewing. Again I replied and had another whinge about the flooded river. Dan wrote back:-

Hi Mike

Bad news on the river. It's frustrating when your unable to fish due to weather but it's been like that most of the year. Its fine if you want to use any of the pics or text from my emails or my blog.

Thanks for the info from your book, I'll have a read of that. In my experience so far with flatties, I've caught quite a few using a spoon or Toby type lure with a hair rigged rag worm approx 3-4 inches from the lure. I have also had a few chase after soft plastics such as Storm Pro Sandeel lures when I've been fishing for bass, although I've never actually managed to hook one.


So, as you see, Dan's a real all-rounder and gives lots of thought to his fishing. He reminds me, a little, of myself when I was his age. Many years ago I had similar correspondence with another young lad, Michael Kaiser, a keen angler who first contacted me asking how he could 'become a marine biologist.' He's now a successful fishery scientist with a PhD, Go for it Dan!

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 -

Dan and pike.

Not a bad fish!


A VERY good fish!