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).

Spinning in the dark.

Still no sea fishing for me. On the one occasion I managed to get to the coast it was a blank. After that, when I was free to go, it blew a hoolie. Still that's fishing - not the first time it's happened and surely not the last. Anyway my pal Richard and I had arranged a trip and with the saltwater venue being blown off we decided to go to the river. Last time we tried Richard managed a seatrout so again he tried for these fish with a small minnow style plug. I had a change of tactics with a big, wobbled deadbait in search of pike - my logic being that at least we would be fishing different bits of water (glides and runs for Richard and slacks for me). As it turned out my pal had forgotten to bring his rainwear and the forecast wasn't good but when we started to fish it was still dry if a bit overcast. We decided to give it an hour or so on the stretch nearest to the parked car as the rain clouds were gathering and the sky looked ominous.

To be honest it was pretty poor fishing. We saw the odd fish jump and not long before we packed in I had a take from a modest pike which dropped the bait twice. I decided that it couldn't cope with my large bait and after another quarter of an hour we gave it best and went home disappointed. The following evening my wife said she had to do some work on the computer so by the time it reached seven pm I was getting a bit twitchy and there was nothing watchable on the telly (there rarely is); so I grabbed the little Teklon spinning rod, still fitted with the Mitchell reel and 17lb Nanofil line, attached a short wire anti-pike trace and clipped on the size 4 luminous spinner which produced my big seatrout last week.

I only intended fishing for less than an hour as dusk fell but after the fiasco trying to land my last decent trout I decided to cart along my big carp net which has a handle long enough to reach the water even where the banks are fairly high. For fifteen minutes I worked my way upstream and nothing happened. I reached the first significant bend in the river and on the far side there was a small slack. The howling downstream wind made casting difficult but I managed to flick the lure up and across into the slow flow and began to retrieve at once before it sank into the weed. A sharp tug, tug turned into a full blown yank on the line and there was a huge swirl and splash as I hooked a decent fish. The taker rushed about the river in a series of short sharp runs but it never broke the surface again so I was beginning to suspect that it wasn't a seatrout but a pike. To my surprise it turned out to be neither but a salmon of about nine pounds which I was able to net, unhook and return quickly to the water, only hesitating to quickly take picture of it in the net. Excellent!

I plodded on upstream to the next pool above a wide, fast flowing shallow stretch. The first cast upstream produced nothing and the strong wind was proving tricky so I walked upstream and cast straight across the tail of the pool. About half way back the lure was taken by a seatrout of about a pound-and-a-quarter which didn't put up much of a struggle on my spinning gear. I took its picture before returning it to the water. Two fish in five minutes - even better. Time for a few more casts so I moved on up towards the next pool and standing well downstream I pitched the lure up into the smooth water above the tail. Almost at once it was seized and a good fish crashed into the air like a Polaris missile. By now it was pretty dark and I couldn't really see what I'd hooked but from the fierce runs and succession of jumps I guessed that it was a big seatrout. It seemed ages before I was able to coax my fish into the net where it proved to be a big, spotty male fish of over seven pounds. Once more it was unhooked, photographed and returned. Three fish in half-an-hour's fishing - bonanza! I packed in and walked back to the car.

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Out of season and stale but lively.

Small seatrout

Only a small, skinny silver fish but good to catch.

Big male

Clearly it had been in the river for a while but it had plenty of go in it.