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).

River Pike.

I had half a box of maggots in my fridge this morning and the weather forecast was bad - howling gale and pouring rain. Anyway, I decided to have an hour on the river to use up the surplus bait and see if I could catch a pike before the water coloured up. My first attempts to catch a bait were futile so I shifted from the swift flowing stretch to a small, slack mill pool. Eventually I had a bite and after about five more minutes and a few free offerings of maggots I caught a small dace. I persisted and managed to get two more baits before setting off in search of pike.

My first two spots were pikeless and I was beginning to think that I might have to go for lunch without the desired result when, suddenly, the cork shot under. I tightened and the fish, clearly a decent one, was on. I played it for a while as it made several strong runs before I slid it into the net. Excellent! I took a couple of pictures and set off back downstream to try one final place before going for my egg sandwiches. My last chosen spot was a large, very shallow slack at the mouth of a ditch which had recently been cleared out by the farmer. I let the bait swim round for a few minutes and then decided to try in the end of the ditch. It looked superb and I even muttered something to this effect (I'm going crackers I suppose - talking to myself). As I said it the float shot away. It was only a small bait so I was half expecting the pike to be a jack but no - it began to take line so I knew it was a decent fish. When I landed it, I guessed that it was about nine pounds and I could see that it had an injury on its 'shoulders'. A closer inspection showed that the marks were in fact recent teeth wounds from a bigger pike (some pike!). I took a couple of pictures and popped the fish back in the edge before swinging my third and last bait out into the mouith of the ditch. It had hardly settled when away it went again. My heart was in my mouth but this pike proved to be only a little larger than the injured one - round about ten pounds I suppose.

I'd love to catch the big one some time but it will have to wait a while before I can go again I'm afraid. Just one final comment - I was using my usual circle hook set up and the three pike were beautifully hooked in the scissors. I was able to unhook them all simply by taking the hook between my finger and thumb and giving it a twist.

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 -

The best of my three dace.


I was relieved to land this one and the other two were a bonus.


Perfectly hooked!


A selfie. I should have removed the dead thistle stem before taking the picture.


The wounded pike - its agressor was not small.


Once again perfectly hooked.


My third fish - a double and easily dealt with by the old Surespin bass spinning rod.


Once more perfectly hooked and easy to release.