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).


Of course, like any other angler, I enjoy catching lots of fish or big fish but sometimes it just doesn't happen. I was recently given some new braided line (Japanese 'Sunline Super Braid 5'), by my pal Alan Bulmer who lives in New Zealand. The new line is already on the replacement for my little old Mitchell reel which had a worn bale arm roller. Being keen to try them out and to get rid of any 'bugs' I took them for a couple of spinning sessions on the local rivers. As it turned out I managed plenty of casting practice but things were pretty slow. I started with a Mepps and although I can usually catch small perch for a pastime they were thin on the ground. I didn't even get many follows and they would have been easy to see in the low, clear, water conditions. Eventually I managed to catch a perch of perhaps half-a-pound so I took its picture before releasing it. The only other notable events on the trip were when I lost a good chub (it just came unstuck) and then when I hooked an underwater branch. I couldn't get at the snag because of deep water and eventually the 15lb nylon trace parted (so the knot and the braid were fine).

My next trip was also a little quiet. I was fishing with my pal Nigel who had opted to try float fishing for grayling. He had a few good sized ones and one seatrout of a couple of pounds. This time I was using a black and silver J9f Rapala. Once more big fish were thin on the ground and I only landed or lost small trout and seatrout. They tend to splash about a bit and they are quite lively but not really much of a test for the gear.

Finally, I fished using one of the Ondex spinners given to me by my pal Dave Little. Again perch were notable for their absence. As I made my way downstream I came across my pal Stuart who was just in the process of weighing and photographing a beautiful six pound chub which he'd caught by legering. He later landed a smaller chub from the same spot. I was encouraged to see that at least there were some fish active so I pressed on downstream. Eventually I came to the last fishable spot where a cattle drink allowed me to wade into mid river and cast upstream where the water forms a deep glide. On the third cast I felt the unmistakeable bump, bump, as a fish hit the spinner but it wasn't hooked. "Buns!" I thought, "That's probably the only chance I'll get." Anyway, I continued to fish, fanning my casts across the river and lengthening the casts upstream a little each time. Suddenly there was a tug and a splash and I was in. The splash of the taking fish made me think "trout!" but then it turned into the sluggish resistance of a chub. I wound the fish in and waded to the edge towing it along behind. Then, before releasing it, I took a picture of the chub (three or four pounds) as it lay quietly, half out of the water. I had a few more casts but no further bites were forthcoming so I packed in. Not great but at least I'd initiated the new kit.

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 -

Solitary small perch on a Mepps.


A little trout on the plug. Note the Autumn leaves.


A small seatrout on the same plug.


Nigel with a slightly better seatrout taken on float-fished maggot.


At last a chub on the Ondex.