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).

Nuisance pike.

In truth I enjoy pike fishing of all types but I have to admit that when I'm after other species they can be a nuisance. Fishing without a bit of wire next to the hook or lure in these circumstances is madness. Not only do the needle like teeth sheer through nylon as though it wasn't there but there's another problem. Even small pike will engulf quite large lures. Although I've done it in the past, these days I wouldn't use multi-hooked lures such as plugs when I'm after pike. For the other species a plug with a couple of sharp trebles is not really a problem because they are usually hooked in the lips or at least round the edge of the mouth. Pike however are a different proposition and in order to avoid damaging them it is necessary to flatten barbs (or switch the trebles for singles) and try to avoid places where you expect pike. Unfortunately the pike don't know this and small ones, in particular, may turn up even in fast shallow water at times. My heart sinks when I see a slim green scaled shape smash into the plug intended for other species. In fact I manage pretty well and most of the jacks are unhooked (using long nosed pliers), and released without lifting them out of the water.

There's another aspect of lure fishing which is sometimes considered to be a problem. You'll often read in angling magazines and books that wire traces "put fish off" but in many of the waters where I seek, chub or perch or trout or salmon there are also pike. I am forced, in these places, to use a length of wire. Since I can no longer obtain the knottable Tyger wire that I used to favour I've switched back to 49 strand American Fishing Wire. I don't think that this stuff is quite as flexible as the Tyger Wire but it's pretty good and I've caught most species while using these traces made with a small swivel at one end and a clip or loop at the other to attach the lure. In fact I'd go as far as to say that it doesn't seem to put anything off although of course this is difficult to prove. Anyway, I catch enough fish of all species to satisfy me despite the wire.

My latest session was in mid-afternoon, sunny and bright with the river gin clear and low. My first fish on the Rapala was a nice chub which I saw rush out from the far bank and grab the lure in mid-river. The next two were small pike and had each ingested the majority of the plug. Both fish were released unharmed by a bit of careful manipulation and I even avoided puncturing my fingers while I was doing it.

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 -


This one was unusually aggressive and raced down and across after the lure.

Nicely hooked.

The mid-body hook is in the upper lip.


This little devil had engulfed the lure and the tail hook was round a gill arch.


My second pike thrashed and jumped several times on the way in.


A slightly bigger fish and not quite so deeply hooked as the first.