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).

Seatrout sport.

My son Richard's visit from Brazil is now over and they are on their way home. After spending some time in Oxford on a little holiday with the family he and I decided to try fishing in the river before he left. A long time ago (when he was much younger) Richard used to fish for seatrout and, as he said to me, they often escaped by leaping and thrashing about. He'd never actually managed to catch one of any great size. Anyway, he was keen to have another go and see whether he could do any better, so I armed him with my little Teklon rod and my newish Mitchell reel loaded with Nanofil. On the end was a short wire 'anti-pike' trace and a number 3 Mepps. My only advice was to cast upstream and spin back fast enough to keep the blade spinning.

We started at the downstream end of a long stretch with plenty of variation from shallow riffles to deep glides. Rich was ahead of me so that I was fishing more or less the same water after him but using a J9 Rapala. When we started it was chilly and the mist was rising from the river but the clear sky promised a pleasant day ahead. At first it was quiet and we had no bites for perhaps half-an-hour then the fish seemed to come on. In the next hour or so Richard landed four seatrout of one or two pounds each. He also had a couple of follows from much larger fish. I only managed two takes which I didn't hook. At this point Richard offered to carry the bag and I didn't refuse (my bag's always heavy) and I lent him a hat as there was a cool easterly breeze and he's not used to 'cold' these days.

Most of the trout seemed to be in shallow streamy water and although we were trying anywhere that appeared to be fishable the glides had not come up with the goods until Rich arrived at a little gravel island. He slid down the steep bank and paddled across to the island to give himself a good position to cast into the tail of the pool above. Using the fine Nanofil he was able to cast well upstream and first cast he saw a big bow wave following the lure. As it reached the shallow tail of the pool the seatrout took the Mepps and launched itself into the air. To be honest it wasn't much of a battle and it was not long before I was taking a picture of his best ever seatrout - a five pounder - which was then returned to swim off into the fast water. A nice way to finish off his holiday.

What about me? Well, having failed with the Rapala I switched to a large Slandra to see whether I could tempt a pike from the slacks. Eventually, just as we were thinking of packing in and going for breakfast, I had a take. I saw the fish turn on the lure and felt the pull but it wasn't hooked. Twice more I tried through the same spot and each time the pike swept out after the lure but didn't get hold of it. I was determined to catch something so I delved into the bag and replaced the soft plastic with a 13cm Rapala. First cast it was seized by the pike and Richard took its picture before it was slipped back into the river. Honour was satisfied.

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 -

Misty morning.

Richard into his first seatrout of the session.

Got it!

A bit chillier than Brazil but he looks pleased.

Nice one!

A little larger.  Note my rod and reel.

That's more like it.

Richard's five pounder.  Not a bar of silver but a good seatrout nonetheless.

My pike.

This was the best I could do.  Not as big as my son's trout but at least I didn't blank