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).

A comedy of errors.

This week I decided to try and catch a pike. The plan was to buy half-a-pint of maggots, catch a couple of baits and then see if I could find a pike (they've been thin on the ground lately). Eventually I did hook a decent pike on my circle hook suspended under a cork but it came unstuck after I'd played it for a minute or so. Anyway, that's not the story.

I started off by float fishing for small fish which might be suitable pike food. The first dip of the float produced a grayling which went straight back. Next was a small chub, then a dace, then another chub, and so on. It was a lovely afternoon, no wind, a touch of colour in the water and I was really enjoying catching small fish. I don't know how many I caught and I added some small trout and gudgeon to the list - all from the same spot in about three feet of water. Excellent stuff. It was about the tenth bite that I struck to feel a solid, heaviness on the end of the three pound nylon. Clearly it was a bigger fish than I'd been catching. I eased the check a little, just in case, and was letting the fish swim about under as much pressure as I thought was sensible. It was some time before I caught a glimpse of the 'thing' on the end - a massive, heavily spotted, out of season seatrout.

Given time, I thought, I should be able to land it and take a picture before setting it free again. At this point it dawned on me that I was a couple of feet above the water and I'd left the net in the car. Tricky! As the fish swam round and round I pondered on what to do. Then I made a decision. I tied the butt of my little rod to the fishing bag using the lanyard that closes the bag. I knew that my heavy bag (it really is heavy) wasn't going anywhere fast, so I propped the rod up against a tree stump and ran back to the car. It was probably only a minute or so before I'd opened the boot, fixed up the net and galloped back to my rod. I untied the rod and picked it up - eureka! The fish was still on. I dunked the net and eased the trout towards the surface. At about the fourth attempt I slid it into the meshes - a good eight pounds. I leaned down to pick my camera from the bag; it wasn't there. I'd left it sitting beside my computer after downloading the last lot of pictures. Nothing for it but to pop the fish back.

The following day I went back to try again, this time fully armed with net and camera but needless to say all I caught this time was small fish. The pictures are from session 2. That's fishing!

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 -

Small grayling.


Small chub.






Not the trout I should have depicted.