Catch fish with Mike Ladle.

Catch Fish with
Mike Ladle


Information Page

18 November 2004.

Spoon fed.

I enjoy pike fishing. When I fish the river my favourite lure is a large silver spoon. I tend to watch it wobble along in the clear water and often see all the action as a fish strikes. Anyway, when I decided to have a session last Thursday I clipped on the old faithful. My spoon has quite a large hook and has not been used for quite a time so the first thing I did was sharpen it. The hooks were razor sharp.

On my third cast I hooked a pike which shot away across the river and made a couple of decent runs before I was able to land it. Ten minutes later I had another fish - a bit bigger at about eight pounds. After returning the second fish I walked on down and cast again. Zap! it was taken by a big trout which characteristically splashed about on the surface. It is the close season so I unhooked the trout, about six pounds, in the water and released it. Not long after the trout I had another pike of similar size to the second. It was nearly time to pack in so I decided to try one more spot before going home. I cast across a wide pool and retrieved the spoon. As it approached the rod tip I looked down and saw a long green shape following - a big pike, pushing thirty pounds I estimated. It refused to take the spoon so I left it, vowing to return.

The following day I went up to Bristol to help my pal Steve edit our bass video. It was late at night before I returned so no fishing that day. The next day was Saturday and we went shopping in the morning. That afternoon my wife, Lilian, went into work so I decided to have an hour after the big pike.

At the river my first job was to catch a natural bait. Within five minutes I had two dace and I set off for the 'pike pool'. I was using a circle hook on a soft wire trace and half a wine bottle cork (slit with a razor blade) for a float. The bait drifted round the pool for about five minutes with no sign of life so I swung it out into the middle so as to fish over a shallow sand bank in the centre of the slack area. After two minutes there was a mighty swirl and the float disappeared. I let the fish take three or four metres of line and tightened - what a struggle! It was obviously the pike that had refused my spoon a couple of days earlier and it must have been five minutes before I was able to lift it from the water. Twenty six pounds (just slightly disappointing - it looked much bigger as it followed the spoon). A little later I had a second fish of about nine pounds from another pool and that was that. Both fish were beautifully hooked round the maxillary bone. Circle hooks are wonderful.

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 -

My first spooned pike.

In the clear water you usually see the 'take' and I think this is the best bit.

The second.

Lurching towards the bank with the spoon in its mouth.

On the bank.

The easy way to land them is simply to slide them up the wet slope (if there is one).  I always look for spots to land fish while I'm fishing.

and the third.

Wonderful colours.

The 'crocodile'.

It really did look big in the water but weighed 26 pounds.

and again.

I thought it was worth another picture.

The last pike.

After this one I'd run out of bait and was ready for my dinner.