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).

'Game' fish on spinners.

I've been really pleased with the way that I can fish a Mepps on my Nanofil line. It might sound trivial but, years ago, this type of lure with a fast spinning blade was guaranteed to twist the nylon monofilament until you finished up with a bunch of knitting on the reel. I've now been using my current set up - Teklon rod, Mitchell reel and Nanofil - for months without even a trace of line twist or knots. It's magic and I can't help feeling that I'm becoming over confident. Anyway I cheerfully switch lures from wedges to plugs to soft plastics to devons and Mepps without even considering that I might have a problem. I always have a swivel at the head of the spinner but that's simply a handy attachment point for the Amnesia trace.

I had two short sessions on the river last week hoping for late seatrout. Both times it was in the afternoon. On the first one the weather was beautiful with no wind, blue sky and white fluffy clouds. I fished down for about half-a-mile with a plug and never had a bite then, after switching to a Mepps for the upstream hike I promptly had a strong pull and found myself playing a salmon. Of course the season for these fish is finished now so I simply played it into the edge and unhooked it in the water. Anyway, apart from dropping one small trout on my way back to the car that was that.

The next trip was about the same time of day but it was pouring with rain. I hate starting in the rain but I was dressed for the weather and having wound myself up to go I went. This time I fished a size 4 Mepps from the word go. Most of the casts were upstream and across. The water was the colour of weak tea after rain earlier in the weak so it looked quite promising. For about quarter of an hour there was no sign of a fish then I came to a straight stretch about 100m long with a steady, smooth flow. As I began to work my way upstream I saw a nice fish roll under the far bank - promising! I pressed on and about half way up I had a good pull which failed to hook itself (how do they manage that?). I reached the top of the stretch without further excitement than I cast straight up my own bank towards a reedy stretch. I'd barely tightened the line when I was in. The fish went berserk jumping and careering all over the river like a mad thing. Eventually I was able to slide it onto the (very) wet grass, take its picture and return it to the water - roughly five pounds I thought. Next cast, this time up and across, I was in again. Once more there was a splashy, leaping fish on the end but it was smaller than the previous one and much more heavily spotted.

I thought after catching two seatrout in two casts that I was sure to get some more but as it turned out that was my lot. Still it was worth getting a soaking. The water on the lens of my little camera didn't help the pictures.

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 -


A red fish of course but quite lively.


Ready to be released after a short struggle.


This fish fought so much harder than the stale salmon - even though is wasn't as large.


A smaller seatrout but much nicer coloured.