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).


From the 15th of May you're allowed to spin for seatrout and trout in my local rivers. I enjoy a spot of lure fishing for spotty fish so I managed a couple of short sessions this week. Just before that I'd been trying for carp off the top in a small lake but all I managed to catch was a tench with a damaged tail which sucked in the crust like a vaccuum cleaner.

Anyway, to the trout fishing. My very first cast with a Rapala produced a bite and a small pike which I was able to shake off without lifting it from the water. Shortly afterwards I caught my a little trout so I was quite encouraged. Apart from a couple more bites (one was quite a good fish which leapt and shook free almost at once) that was that.

The following day, after lunch, I went to a different river. I used exactly the same tactics, with a little spinning rod, twenty pound Nanofil and a J9 black and silver Rapala. On my previous session all the fish (even the baby pike) had been in fast, shallow water so I concentrated on similar spots. I started by casting upstream and winding back at speed to keep the lure working. On about the third cast I had a bite which appeared to be a small perch but it wriggled off before I could get a good look. Next chuck a trout took the lure as it arrived under the rod tip. It splashed and wriggled about in typical trouty fashion until I took its picture and set it free. Excellent. I varied my retrieves from 'straight downstream' to 'straight upstream' with the odd cast across to the far bank. All three tactics produced trout although I probably lost as many as I landed because they do squirm about a lot.

The only variation was when a crashing bite under the far bank proved to be a big chub which I was able to release without taking it from the water. All in all it was a successful trip with lots of trout caught. The best fish was roughly one-and-a-half pounds but the escaped leaper on my first session was probably twice that weight. There were no seatrout in my total but I caught trout fairly regularly and they were all in mint condition so, combined with the beautiful weather it was a satisfactory start to my season. Of course the fish were a lot smaller than those taken by my pal Alan in New Zealand but that's only to be expected. All I need now to regain my 'bragging rights' down under is a monster from the saltwater.

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 -

Tiny tench.

This one had no trouble engulfing a crust.

First trout.

Not very big but attractive all the same.

Different river different fish.

Yet another lovely trout.

Nice nick!

This one was a real fatty.


Interesting variation in pattern.  I had a couple more that looked like this.