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).


Since I posted my last freshwater page I've been to the river a couple of times. I caught nothing of note, a few modest trout and a couple of out of season pike (I always have a wire trace and it doesn't seem to put anything off as far as I can tell). Anyway, this week the weather suddenly improved and with the sun blazing down and no wind blowing I decided to see if the carp were active in my local lakes.

It was a real pleasure to walk to the water in a short sleeved shirt without being muffled up against the cold or encased in plastic for fear of rain. There were only a couple of cars in the car park when I arrived so it looked as though I'd be able to fish where I pleased. The tackle was my bass spinning rod, 30lb braid and a size 6, barbless, strong carp hook. I'd cut 50p's worth of bread into 5cm cubes and that, apart from the net and the bag, was all I took with me.

As I walked to the water from the car I saw a couple of bee orchids and some spotted orchids in the grass - fantastic! At the first access point (a wooden staging platform) I walked down to have a look. There was a big bed of water lilies to my right and immediately I could see that there were carp there tenting and pushing the leaves about as they swam. Irresistible! I skewered a crust on the hook and flicked it into a gap between a group of big round leaves. For perhaps a couple of minutes nothing happened but the carp activity continued, then, quite suddenly, the crust disappeared with a big slurp and I was in.

I leaned back on the rod but the fish ploughed down and away into the vegetation before going solid. Having often experienced this before I successively heaved and eased off for a few seconds. Every time I reduced the pressure I could still feel the fish pulling so I knew it was still there. On about the fourth increase of pressure the carp began to move and with one big heave (thank heavens for the bass rod) it emerged from its hiding place and swam out into open water. Now it was just a matter of time before I could slide it over the rim of the net, take its picture and let it go. I never picked it up but it was a nice common and certainly 15lb+ (I would estimate just over 16lb). What a way to start. I wandered off and tried a few more spots but after about an hour it was time to go and make the dinner, so I packed in. As I walked back to the car a big sika deer stepped onto the path only a few metres ahead of me and stood watching as I walked towards it. A fitting end to a pleasant afternoon.

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 -

In the net.

A beautiful common carp.

Another shot.

Ready to go back. It looks a bit more like its full size in this view.