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).

Pike genetics.

I'm still fishing in the sea when I get the chance - but not catching anything. Most other anglers that I know are in more or less the same boat so I'm not too concerned, it's bound to improve soon (it is- isn't it????). Anyway, because I've not posted a web page for a while (it's not very interesting to read about blank sessions) I thought I'd better revive some pre-close season fishing that I did. In fact I was helping some scientist pals to catch pike for a genetics study in one of my local rivers. The pike are measured and a few scales are removed to check their ages. A tiny sample of fin is taken for DNA anaysis - the idea being to study the relationships between individuals. Electric fishing is also used to catch pike but these are usually much smaller on average than the ones I catch on rod and line. Together the methods provide a good cross section of the pike population.

The scientists needed the pike to be caught, processed and returned in good order so I had to land them uninjured and handle them with care. This meant rod and line fishing with live or dead baits. In order to avoid deep hooking and potential hook damage I used only a single circle hook and in three sessions landed four pike - all neatly hooked around the maxilla (=upper jaw). The fish weighed roughly 8lb, 10lb, 16lb and 20lb and were all released in mint condition after having little coded PIT tags implanted (similar to the ones they put in your cat or dog in case it gets lost or stolen). I think the pictures say it all.

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 -

Another blank!

Nice morning but not a sniff on either the fly gear or the spinning rod.


this was my biggest and fought like stink before I could net it.

The same fish.

Neatly hooked.

and another.

Equally well hooked.

and a third.

Also beautifully hooked in the scissors.


Here are the lads dealing with my 16 pounder.

and a smaller one.

One of last year's brood caught by electric fishing.