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).


It was a tiny bit cooler the other day and I fancied catching a pike from the river. It was mid-afternoon with a spot of cloud cover but still bright and relatively warm. The river was at its lowest level this year and gin clear. There's hardly any weed growth - presumably as a result of all the high flows last winter and spring. It's quite a while since I used my Slandra lures for pike so I thought I'd give it a go. I chose a medium sized pale coloured lure on a size 4/0 hook. Even though I sometimes cast a fair distance with the 17lb Nanofil, in the clear water I could usually track the progress of the writhing soft plastic from the minute it plopped in. Since it was weedless I had no problem allowing it to sink to the bed before retrieving at snail's pace.

It was a slow start and I probably fished for twenty minutes before I had a bite. I'd cast across to a shallow slack under the far bank and the pike hit the lure as soon as it started to move. The fish took a fair bit of line and it was minutes before I could slide it into the long handled net (the banks are pretty high!). About eight pounds and in fine fettle so I took its picture and returned it to the river.

I pressed on until I came to a really pikey stretch where it was a bit deeper (well over a metre). At the head of the pool I hit another fish a bit bigger than the first one. It didn't encounter the hook but I tried it again and true to form it had another ggo and this time was well hooked. It jumped and tailwalked shooting the lure off the hook and up the trace to the braid knot. Again it was a fair old tussle before it was netted and returned. Only a few metres further downstream I missed a decent pull and then, a little furtether down I saw a bigger pike (lower teens of pounds?) strike at the lure but failed to hook itself. It tried again from several angles but this one wasn't having any (I think it had seen me). By now it was time to go home but I really enjoyed the session and I must give it another try soon.

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 -

Slandra strikes.

Nicely hooked on the weedless lure which has folded up.


The second pike has shot the lure up the trace.


Now it's quietened down but the lure is still up the line.


Note that the reel is well filled with braid.