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).

Little and large.

It has been pretty hot this week, so hot in fact that the thought of tramping along the river bank clad in nettle/thistle protection didn't appeal to me. I was still keen to fish so I chose to try some local lakes shaded by trees. It's been a while since I caught a perch from still water so, for my first sortie, I decided to try plugging. It wasn't the most exciting fishing I've ever done and the perch I saw and caught were quite tiny. The little L-minnow plug I was using seemed to interest the little stripy creatures and it was interesting to see them scurrying after the lure but when I did manage to hook one it was just a matter of swinging it in and dropping it back.

Later in the week with conditions even hotter and stickier I went to the same venue again. This time I was armed with my spinning rod, a size six strong hook and 40p's worth of bread crust cut into big cubes. To my surprise I found that there were quite a few anglers already in residence near my favoured spot so I wandered off to one of the smaller lakes heavily surrounded by trees. There was only one patch of water lilies so it was easy to choose my spot. I could see carp basking and cruising in the open water, often with their dorsal fins and humped backs breaking the surface of the water. In the absence of wind the entire lake was covered with a film of dust and leaves. Tiny bubbles of oxygen from the algae sprinkled the calm surface.

I couldn't see any movement in the lily pads but I flicked my bait out into a small hole between two leaves. After about five minutes the ubiquitous rudd discovered my bait and rapidly demolished it. I wasn't too concerned because I always feel that rudd activity may attract a carp to the bait. As I sat watching I noticed that the cruising carp often patrolled along the outer margin of the weedbed, occasionally stopping to suck at a leaf or swimming into the lilies for a look round. My next cast put the crust on the outer edge of the lily leaves. I drew the line tight until the bait rested against a big leaf, closed the bale arm, laid the rod down and waited. After a few minutes my attention had wandered a little bit to the damsel flies hovering over the water when I suddenly felt the rod smack against my leg and the clutch gave a sharp buzz as as a carp tried to drag my outfit into the water. Instantly I picked up the rod and stood up by which time the fish was ploughing through the lilies to my left. I leaned back and bullied it towards me and it wasn't long before a nice common in the lower teens of pounds was having its picture taken. I didn't get any more bites before I had to go for tea. What a contrast to the perch fishing!

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 -


Even the little L-minnow lure was on the large side for these perch.

Lily pads.

The arrow shows where I hooked the fish on my floating crust bait.

The carp.

A beautiful golden fish and great sport.