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).

Seatrout on and off.

My pal Richard has been missing out on his fishing lately because of a bad back (I know the feeling!). Anyway, last week he emailed to say that he was on the mend and that he'd already ventured out a couple of times and fancied trying the river with me. We decided to fish for seatrout as he hadn't caught one for quite a long time. Also he wanted to wave his new spinning rod about. I decided to fish a soft plastic Slandra in an attempt to catch pike while Richard clipped on a J9, Black and Gold, Rapala as a seatrout tempter. We were both using short anti-pike traces of knottable wire

We only had about an hour-and-a-half to fish so I suggested that we walked down-river and then fished our way back up to where we'd parked the car. We trudged down as far as some overhanging willow trees and thorn bushes before starting to fish and my pal began as far downstream as was possible, by the dense vegetation. I'd barely turned away to look for a pikey spot as he made his first cast when he shouted 'fish on!' and I turned to see him with the rod well bent into a splashing, plunging fish. Sure enough it was a decent seatrout - not fresh run but in good condition. I took out the camera as he landed, unhooked and returned his catch and we both agreed that it couldn't have been a better start.

Of course it WAS too good to be true and we had nothing else after that - not even a perch or a jack pike. However, there was an interesting sequel as, following Richard's success, I decided to give it a try myself a couple of days later. I always like to concentrate on stretches that are unfished, if I can, and selected a short section of bank lined with eight foot high reeds and a fair sprinkling of overhanging trees. Not just difficult to fish but most of it virtually impossible. I sweated and swore as I crawled under thorny branches and battered down the reeds and nettles. Whenever I managed to get to one of the few gaps in the bankside vegetation I had a cast or two with my little plug. After an hour or so I'd just about had enough and was beginning to realise that I'm not getting any younger. At this point my progress upstream was halted by an impenetrable wall of hawthorn bushes and there was one final gap in the reeds where I could see some water. I perched myself on the overhanging bank and flicked the plug as far upstream as possible into the gap between the vegetation. I lowered the rod tip and began to wind just quickly enough to make the plug work with the brisk flow. It was almost back to my feet and I was just about to lift it from the water when there was an almighty snatch and a splash as a big seatrout, which had followed it down, had a grab. It did not stick! If I was the crying type I could have cried. Can I face fighting my way through the 'Mato Grosso' again some time for another go? I doubt it. Anyway, it's done nothing but rain since then so I expect the fish will have moved on. That's fishing!

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 -

Richard's in!

Second cast - jammy devil.


Ready to remove the hook from the fish.


Not a bad way to revive your seatrout fishing.