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).

Mixed catches.

With the sea fishing apparently quiet (according to my mates) I've had a couple of trips to the local rivers. Last week I'd seen several huge chub in and around the branches of a big tree which fell years ago and has lain in the river ever since. The branches and trunk stretch from one bank to the other and make it impossible to cast a lure to the fish without snagging the woodwork. I'd dabbled a fly over the fish and it actually settled on the nose of one causing it to retreat into the shelter of the tree trunk. I pondered on the problem and decided to try a live minnow dangled into one of the small gaps. Using a single maggot on a small hook I set about catching minnows and I soon had a mixture of minnows and small (8cm) dace in my bucket.

Of course when I got back to the tree the chub had gone into hiding so they'll have to wait for another day. Anyway, not wanting to waste my baits I set off upstream casting lip-hooked live fish into any likely spot. It was sunny and the water was very low and clear so bites were scarce but it was interesting to try and flick the little fish into chubby looking spots as I waded upstream. The Nanofil made it really easy to cast even a single unweighted minnow and the dace positively flew out. Eventually my largest dace landed (more by luck than by management) right in a tiny eddy only inches from an overhanging bush. It was taken instantly and the resulting strike resulted in a well hooked chub which, disappointingly, turned out to be just a couple of pounds. I took its picture and released it and that was that.

My next session was an early morning jaunt with my pal Richard. We only spun for a couple of hours but the fish were not very active. Apart from one or two missed bites all we managed before we went for breakfast was one tiny perch, one chub not much bigger and a jack pike landed by Richard. By lunch time I was at a loose end so I decided to have ago for a seatrout. I was using the same gear as on the previous two sessions - Teklon rod, Mitchell Mag Pro reel, 8kg Nanofil line and a short anti-pike trace. The lure was a black and silver 9cm jointed Rapala. On my first cast I had a pull, which I missed and then further along I had a couple of follows from seatrout - encouraging! I was casting upstream and retrieving with the flow - easy with the high gearing of the little Mitchell.

I came to a relatively deep pool and made a long cast from the riffle below it. I could feel the little plug vibrating as I wound it back and it had almost reached the lip of the pool when something grabbed it and made the clutch scream. It was soon obvious what I'd hooked as a nice seatrout hurled itself into the air. The fish fought like stink making half-a-dozen runs and leaping wildly at the end of each one. After tiring the trout I slid down the bank into the water and lifted it out (1.9kg on my balance) before taking a picture. A beautiful fish and another species for the new reel which has now been employed for a good variety of tactics and still no tangles (touch wood).

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 -

Small chub.

This one fancied a meal of dace.

Richard into a lively jack pike.

Another nice fully-scaled common.

Not bad!

Ready to go back.


Casting upstream tends to avoid snagging in weed as well as catching fish.