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).

Making the best of it!

As we all know fishing doesn't always go according to plan. A few days ago I'd arranged to take my pal Andy to try and catch a seatrout or salmon. A month or so back it seemed hard for me to avoid catching them and I had quite a few nice fish. However, we had to arrange things well in advance so, typically, the chosen day dawned in the middle of a heatwave. Of course blazing sunny conditions and temperatures in the thirties don't mean that it's impossible to catch these species but it wouldn't be first choice.

We intended spinning with Mepps or Rapalas - both of which are very effective - but I decided that we might have to resort to PLAN B. I guessed that the warm spell would have induced the thinlipped mullet to swim upstream to feed on the crop of diatom algae generated, so we dropped in at the local tackle shop tu buy a quid's worth of ragworm - just in case.

Sure enough the 'salmonids' proved to be lethargic. After an hour or two flogging away in the boiling conditions we'd only managed a couple of follows from seatrout and a pike which came unstuck after giving a creditable imitation of a salmon. Andy, like me, is a realist and since we were constantly seeing shoals of mullet grovelling about on the river bed we decided to give them a go. On went the 'baited spoons' with sections of ragworm and we began to fish, casting down and across and allowing the lures to swing across the flow. Every couple of casts we would get follows and sometimes several mullet produced great bow waves as they jostled each other behind the spinning lures. Occasionally a fish would tug at the lure and fail to hook itself. The problem with mullet spinning is that when the fish get up close and personal with the lure they can no longer see it because their eyes are not designed to look dead ahead.

The secret of mullet spinning is persistence and frequent changes of bait (ragworm soon gets 'washed out' in the fresh water). After a while a fish impaled itself on my lure and it put up a fierce struggle as Andy waited with the net to land it for me. Excellent! We bashed on and by the time we packed in we'd landed five fish between us, all of them fat, fit and feisty. As Andy said to me if we hadn't been hoping for other species it would have seemed like a perfect session. Anyway, there was no doubt that we both enjoyed it and the mullet saved the day. There'll always be another chance for my pal to visit again and catch a seatrout, if and when the weather returns to normal.

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 -

He's in!

Andy plays one of his mullet.

Got it!.

The fish is in the net and ready to be unhooked.

Nice one.

The fat mullet lies quietly with a piece of ragworm draped across its head.

He's pleased.

Andy exhibits his catch for the camera.

Back she goes.

The net is used to return the fish to the water from the high bank of the river.  The orange poly bag holds our bait.