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).

Predators lures, times and places.

I do like a change, so I'm always inclined to try something different when I go fishing. In the past week three short trips to the river were all after predators but each time the tactics changed. The first session was in the afternoon and I'd stuck to the Ondex spinner which recently produced my big chub and a number of small perch. This time the perch were far more reluctant to bite but I managed to catch a couple. Once again I hooked a big chub but I was standing on a high sloping bank so playing it was a bit of a problem. As it came closer the fish veered in towards the bank and the line draped itself across a dead branch which was sticking out just above the water surface. While I was wiggling and twitching the rod to free the line the chub unhooked itself and departed.

The following day I went back to the same stretch but this time I decided to try live minnows for the perch. I used the same, Teklon spinning rod and Mitchell reel loaded with 20lb Nanofil but this time I simply tackled up with a size 6 circle hook on a short wire anti-pike trace. To catch the minnows I simply tied a short piece of 4lb nylon to the circle hook and armed it with a size 16 and a couple of maggots. In no time at all I had a dozen big, fat minnows in my bucket. Again the perch were a bit thin on the ground and none of them were of any great size. The ones I did catch were all neatly hooked in the jaw so at least they were returned in good order. The downside of the trip was snags. Three timed I lost the hook and/or the trace in different, unseen, submerged obstructions. Eventually I ran out of wire and since I'd been catching nothing but perch I decided to have a last dabble with a hook on 10lb nylon. The bite, when it came, was clearly no perch and for a little while I thought I might be able to persuade the pike (almost a double I reckon) into my net, but no, it eventually chopped off the hook so I packed in.

Two days later I'd been stuck in the house all day waiting for a delivery that never came. Lilian said she had a visitor coming that evening so I decided to get out of the way and have three-quarters-of-an-hour at the river, over the dusk period, in search of a seatrout. There haven't been all that many seatrout for me this year so to be honest I wasn't particularly hopeful. The gear was my 'perch' tackle, with a new wire trace and on the end one of my tritium-lit, shining-green, silver bladed spinners. I found the river, as I expected, still very low and clear with masses of weed everywhere - not ideal for spinning, particularly in the failing light. I started at the top of the stretch and on almost every cast I was hooked up on weed at some point. By spinning quickly it was usually possible to guide the lure over the top of the Ranunculus but there was nothing doing.

My time was almost up and I was nearing the bottom of the stretch where there was a deep pool. At least, I thought, it should be possible to get a reasonable retrieve in the deeper water. As I arrived at the pool it was just about dark and I was encouraged by a couple of splashes which showed that at least there were some fish present. I had to judge the length of my cast by guesswork and by listening for the plop as the lure hit the surface. The first cast was square across the upstream end of the pool - nothing! The second chuck was at a bit of an angle and plopped in a bit further downstream - nothing! The third cast again dropped just under the far bank and a bit further downstream. Three casts in succession without catching the opposite bank - how lucky could I get. I began to wind and I could feel the tension on the line as the blade of the lure gripped the water. In mid-pool there was a sudden savage wrench followed by a great splash as a fish exploded from the water. Success! Line screamed off the reel and again the fish jumped. Four times in all it cleared the water and between jumps it careered about the pool. Eventually it tired and I was able to slide it into the shallows at my feet and remove the hook. It was cracking seatrout of over seven pounds so I took a couple of pictures before returning the fish to swim off back into the pool.

All in all three interesting short sessions nicely rounded off on the last cast by catching the trout on my home-made Lumi-lure. Excellent!

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 -

Perch take the Ondex spinner well.


Another perch - this one taken on a live minnow.


Typical hook positioning with a small circle hook - not many perch swallow these hooks.


That's the way to finish, a fine seatrout - not quite a bar of silver but good enough for me.


The Lumi-lure with a size 4 blade shines brightly at night and seems to work.