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).

Mixed bags.

I'm far from being a 'one lure angler' but I have to say that I see little point chopping and changing lures just for the sake of it. Over many years Rapala have been producing quality balsa plugs and there is no doubt that in many circumstances they catch fish as well as anything. The black and silver J9 floater that I've been fishing the rivers with this year has proved its worth time and again and my last couple of sessions were no exception.

Chub, perch, pike, trout, seatrout and salmon have all fallen to the same lure fished in the simplest possible fashion. It's not so good in deeper water of course because it only dives to about half-a-metre at most but when there's only centimetres of depth over weeds or gravel it is perfect. Fished up and across and retrieved just fast enough to make it 'work' or simply flicked well downstream and allowed to swing through an arc from the far bank the little lure can be absolutely deadly.

Essentially I've been fishing for seatrout recently but the fish don't know that and they take the lure anyway. jack pike can be a positive nuisance so a knottable wire trace is essential in my local rivers and I always use one. Provided that any clips or swivels are not too large the lure works perfectly well. The strength of modern braided lines means that the odd miscast into a tree on the far bank is not usually a disaster (I've lost one plug so far this year) and they are so fine that a twenty or thirty metre cast is not out of the question.

If and when a big fish is hooked a little patience will generally see it have its picture taken and I rarely need to use a net unless the banks are too high and/or the water is too deep for me to get near enough to unhook my catch.

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 little chaps are a bit of a curse.  Without them I could do away with wire traces.


No great size but a sucker for the little plug.


The problem with trout is the way they wriggle when hooked.


All sizes of seatrout will take a J9.

Bigger pike.

The last thing you want to hook on two small trebles is a big pike but, to my surprise, this one was in a shallow riffle.