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).

A perch.

I love catching perch. So, the other day when my pal Richard had asked if I wanted to try perch fishing in a local river I was dead keen. Then disaster struck. Richard did his back in so we never went. Instead I ventured to the coast on my own but to be honest my heart wasn't in it. Anyway - I blanked.

I still hankered after catching a perch so the next day I had an early lunch, grabbed the spinning gear and set off for the river. It was a pretty warm day but rather humid with a fair bit of cloud and the odd thundery shower. I took a plastic coat, just in case, and wore my waders so that I could cover lots of water by wading (the banks are very overgrown this year). It was a bit sweaty paddling about in all my gear but I was encouraged when the first shallow stretch I tried produced a small pike. No more bites so I hopped in the car and shifted to the slower flowing place that Richard and I had intended to try.

On my first two or three casts the Rapala came back covered in the slimy algae which seemed to be everywhere. I was now standing on a shallow gravel bank in mid river and I flicked the plug towards some willow trees on the north bank. I began to wind and within a few seconds I had a good take. "Pike!" I thought, but the fish was bumping about in a very unpikelike fashion and soon I saw the green-gold stripy flank of a decent perch. The fish fought well on the light rod and it took a little while before it was close enough to have its picture taken. At this point it dived into a drifting mat of green algae and I had to extract it by picking the filaments off the trace and lure. I quickly unhooked, weighed and released the perch - two pounds ten ounces - my best so far this season. Excellent!

After my catch it was more or less anti-climax. One jack pike after another hurled itself on the plug and after I'd landed the fifth sub-four pounder I decided on a change. I switched to a size 4 Silver Mepps and began to wade upstream, casting ahead of me as I went. Another tiny pike took a liking to the lure in the shallow gravel bedded glide. I released the pike and continued. My next cast fell hard against the far bank. Zap! It was taken at once by a very lively fish which proved to be a brown trout of just under two pounds. It battled like a demon before it was landed and released. Then, once more, it was back to pike and I landed three more with the best of perhaps five pounds.

So, that was my two hours of spinning. One good perch, a decent trout and ten pike, not bad I suppose. Well I enjoyed it and I hope that next time Richard will be able to join me.

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 No 1.

Nice to look at but a little disappointing.

The perch.

I was really pleased when I saw what the fish was.  There are still tufts of algae on the hooks

Close up.

What a beauty - now algae free.

Pike again.

Yet another jack.  My smallest was barely more than a pound.

Another pike.

Note the mat of drifting green slime.

-- and a trout.

A nice surprise on a pikey stretch.