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).

New reel.

I'm pretty relaxed about what tackle I use where, probably because most of my spinning gear is very versatile. However, I do tend to stick with certain bits of kit when I'm fishing in particular situations. Anyway, I have a nice lttle Teklon Concept rod which takes a small fixed spool reel loaded with 20lb Nanofil line. The whole set up is light and easy to use and it generally terminates in a short wire trace, so when I go spinning in the river this is the first thing I pick up. Over the years the outfit has landed me lots of good fish, notably pike, salmon, seatrout, chub and perch. On the odd occasion I used it in the sea for bass, wrasse and mullet as well. It's ideal for casting small lures as well so the rod handle is still liberally plasterd with mackerel scales. All this hard work had clearly taken its toll on the reel because the bale arm roller had worn so much on its bearings that the fine Nanofil was occasionally getting trapped in the gap. Not good! I decided I needed a new reel, so the rod is now fitted with a dinky new Mitchell Mag Pro 2000. I switched the line from the old reel to the new one ten days ago and, as you do, went to give it a work out on the river.

I started with a J9 Rapala and for half-an-hour had no bites. I was wading upstream hoping to catch a chub or a trout in the streamy water but - nothing! I reached a pool which was too deep for me to go any further and flicked the little plug up into the slack water. It sailed away much further than I expected (modern rods, reels and lines are fantastic) and splashed down beside a big willow tree (not into the branches which is my usual style). I began to reel and wallop, I was in. I was hoping for a big chub but within a few seconds I could tell that it was a pike - they're MUCH livelier than chub. I played the fish down into the shallow water and took its picture, as it hung in the streamer weed, before unhooking it. At least I'd christened the reel. I decided to switch lures and tied on one of the size 6 Ondex spinners recently given to me by my pal Dave Little. These spinners are fairly light weight so they're excellent for fishing shallow water and I've already had a seven pound chub on one but the blade occasionally folds back on the trace which can be a bit frustrating. The next bite, when it came, was a smaller pike and because by now I was on a high bank I had to net it. I took its picture and slipped it back.

I began to work my way downstream casting into all the likely spots but I only managed a couple of little perch so I decided to change back to the Rapala for my last half hour. Straight away I was into another small perch neatly hooked on the mid-body treble of the little plug. I could see more titchy perch following the lure so I moved on downstream to a deeper glide where I've had some big chub in the past. I waded in down the gentle (but muddy) slope of a cattle drink. The idea was to cast upstream into two or three feet of smoothly flowing water. The first few casts produced nothing but I gradually lengthened the distance and eventually, at maximum range, I had a good hit. The fish was on and at first it took line against the clutch so I'm thinking 'pike' but then it turned into a chub and swam steadily towards me. I slid it ashore, took its picture, unhooked it and popped it back to swim strongly away. I love catching chub even if they don't fight much. A nice end to my reel's first proper outing. Hopefully it'll catch plenty more.

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 -

A modest pike on the J9.


Another picture of the same fish in the streamer weed, there's a lot of it this year. Note the wire trace.


The other pike taken on an Ondex spinner this time.


A typical greedy little perch on the Rapala.


My two kilo (4.25lb) chub nicely hooked on the Rapala.