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).

Salmon - almost a nuisance.

My first attempt to catch a seatrout this season failed but I did land a decent salmon. Since then I've had two more short sessions after the 'trout'. I enjoy using my little Rapala so on my second trip I stuck to what I knew and it looked as though it might pay off when, after about ten minutes spinning I landed a good sized trout. This fish looked a bit too spotty to be a seatrout and I guess it had never been near the salt water. Anyway, encouraged, I pressed on casting the plug upstream and retrieving just fast enough to make it work even with a following current.

Nothing happened for quite some time after catching the trout then, just as I was thinking about going for my tea, I was almost at the upstream end of the stretch that I fish. I cast straight up the middle into a pool upstream of a shallow riffle and within two turns of the reel handle the plug was taken. The usual fierce head shaking suggested that I was into another salmon and sure enough it wasn't long before I saw the bright silver flank flash in the sunshine. After the bout of wriggling and shaking the fish set off upstream and it took a while before I could turn it back towards me. Eventually it tired of pulling line against the clutch and I was able to bring it back into the shallows where I stood. After that it was easy and I lifted the fish ashore, removed the hook, took a picture or two and nursed it back to life before going for my tea.

On my next 'seatrout session' I decided to use a number 4 Mepps, just for a change. Of course it is possible to fish these metal lures a bit deeper than the plug but my technique is more or less identical. Cast up and across and wind fast enough to keep the lure spinning (I slow it down in slacker water). I started off by trying a few casts into a small millstream alongside the main river and on about my fifth cast a dark shape rushed out from the bank and seized the lure. As the hook went home the fish jumped and I could see that it was a beautiful silver flanked seatrout, several more jumps and a spot of writhing later I had the fish below the rod tip and was ready to land it. This meant lifting it by the trace (as usual I was netless) and typically at this point it fell off and swam away. I muttered a few comments about my incompetence and switched over to fishing the river.

After spinning for perhaps a mile with no result I reached the deep pool where I'd landed my first salmon a few days before. I could hardly believe it when the spinner was grabbed by yet another salmon. The usual high jinks ensued and although this fish was only twelve or thirteen pounds, a few pounds smaller than the other two I'd caught, it fought twice as hard taking lots of line in its main upstream run. The outcome was the same and I was able to land it just as one of my friends arrived on the scene. He took a couple of pictures as I resuscitated the fish and released it.

Three fresh-run salmon, all weighing lower to upper teens of pounds, in three sessions, that's good fishing by any standards - seems a pity that they weren't what I was after.

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 -


Landed and ready to be unhooked from my little Rapala.

Plugged salmon.

This one's a female I think and in fine fettle.

Nicely hooked.

Unlike pike salmon don't usually engulf the lure and so are easy to release. Note the sea louse on the eye.

Salmon number 3

The big spade of a tail thrashes as the fish makes another plunge for freedom.


A fine, fat fish ready to be unhooked.


This one taken on my Mepps has a little kype and is probably a male fish.