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).

Pike time.

It's getting to that time of the year again. The bass fishing hasn't quite reached the cold hands, freezing feet, lets go to the river stage yet but it won't be long. Anyway, just to get into the swing of piking I had a dabble one afternoon this week. Firstly I needed to catch some bait so I set about float fishing with maggots. As it turned out the trout (brown and sea) were a nuisance. I had about ten with the biggest round the four pound mark and as you can imagine not only did it take a while to play them but they splashed about so much in my swim that it tended to put my target fish off. Anyway, it probably took me half an hour to catch one or two dace and roach for pike baits.

Having caught my bait I set off for the river. I started off with a small split cork for a float and a single, size 4/0 Mustad Demon circle hook (they're quite fine in the wire) on a knottable wire trace. The bait was lip hooked and allowed to swim where it would. I'd gone straight to a spot where a couple of days earlier I'd seen a big pike follow my Mepps in almost to my feet. The big fish (estimated 20lb+) didn't turn up but almost straight away the bait was taken by a pike of about ten pounds. I tightened and it let go. Now to cut a long story short this scenario was repeated about eight times. It didn't matter how long (or short) I waited for the pike to turn the bait every time the result was the same. Sometimes the fish stayed attached for a few seconds but invariably it wasn't hooked. A real Houdini. Eventually I got the message and went off to try for another.

By now I'd lost the cork so I switched the rig to a simple paternoster with a half-ounce weight and exactly the same trace hook, etc. In my second spot the bait was taken within a couple of minutes and I duly tightened and hooked the pike. It fought well but was eventually netted, photographed and released - no problems. This fish weighed about eight pounds so similar to 'Houdini' but was nicely hooked (as expected) round the upper jaw. I'd walked a fair way to get to my second spot so it took me probably ten minutes to return to where I'd started and have another go for the unhookable one.

This time I used the paternoster set up and within a few minutes the escapee was in my net - nicely hooked round the maxilla. As I'd surmised it was marginally bigger than the first one that I caught. If I hadn't landed it I might have thought that there was something odd about the hooks but I guess it was just one of those odd events in fishing that I'll never be able to explain.

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 -

Pike number 1.

Not a bad fish.

Well hooked.

In fact the hook was unusually well into it's snout..


Another decent fish but missed more times than I'd care to happen.

Beautifully hooked.

This time the hook was round the maxilla - it would never have escaped.