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).

One lure needed.

Anyone who looks at the freshwater pages of my blog will notice that I often spin with a J9, black and silver, floating Rapala. Why do I use it so much? Well it's a buoyant, little lure and will generally fish over the top of everything but the very shallowest weed or gravel runs. This can be a bit of a disadvantage when I come to deeper water and I'm sure that I could catch a few more fish by occasionally switching to something that got down nearer the bottom. However, I'm inclined to be lazy when it comes to changing lures and I get enough bites to keep me entertained. The real big advantage of the lightweight lure is that it tends to hang in the air instead of casting like a bullet. When I'm using my little Teklon Concept spinning rod and 17lb Nanofil line I generally have enough time (even with my ancient reflexes) to feather the line or stop the cast before it hits the trees on the far bank. In other words the set up gives me control over the cast. There are few things worse than casting to a good spot and getting tangled in a bush so that you disturb anything that was in residence. Also it can be a bit depressing if you have to spend ten minutes trekking to the next bridge and along the far bank to get the lure back (if there is a bridge).

Anyway, my most recent session lasted from 10:30 to 13:00 hr (a long time for me) and I opted for the usual lure in the hope of tempting a seatrout. I had a couple of chucks just to get the line moving and then I walked to the downstream end of a stretch of barbed wire fence arranged to keep the cattle from trampling the bank down. I cast up and across into perhaps half-a-metre of clear water gliding over a gravel bed. Almost at once there was a big swirl and the plug was taken by a decent fish. The clutch began to sing and I saw a silver flash which told me that I'd hooked a good salmon. The fish fought like stink with a series of powerful runs upstream but each time I managed to wrestle it back down into the deeper water under where I was standing. Just as I thought I was gaining control the fish decided to go upstream with a series of short jagging surges. I couldn't stop it and since it was close under my bank it was impossible to keep the line out of the massive clump of cow parsely that hung over the water's edge a few metres from where I was standing.

I decided that the only way to untangle my line from the vegetation was to follow the salmon so I carefully stepped over the barbed wire and cautiously made my way through the nettles until I was opposite the snag. Cow parsley is awful stuff for trapping fishing line and although the fish was still attached to my line I couldn't move it. However, I was able to reach down (risking a ducking) and snap the two entangling stems of the offending plant. The salmon then gave me a hand by dragging the remains of the stems out into mid-river. Phew!!!! I gingerly made my way back down until I could get back over the fence and, by now, the fish was clearly beginning to tire so I picked up the big carp net net, reached down to the water and slid the salmon in - first go. A minor miracle.

The salmon was 84cm long, weighed 14.5lb and was just as tired as I was so, after quickly taking it's picture, I spent five minutes reviving it in the shallows before it swam off none the worse for its adventure. Having caught a fish so soon I was really encouraged so I pressed on for a couple of hours without even a nibble. Then, just as I was thinking of going home for my sandwich and glass of orange juice, I had a firm bite from a nice little pike of about seven pounds. It didn't fight like the salmon and was soon on the bank, unhooked and returned. All in all a good session.

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 -

Nice salmon.

A bit red but in great condition.

The pike.

I was hoping for a seatrout but this was good fun.