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).

Down comes the average.

I knew I should have stopped carp fishing for the year while my average was above 20lb per fish. Anyway, I couldn't resist having another go, so out came the old Surespin, I bought a small white loaf and chopped a few chunks off for bait, had my lunch and set off for the lakes. It was a beautiful, sunny afternoon and when I arrived there were one or two cars in the car park. However, all the anglers had chosen to fish in the nearest lake so I had the other three to myself.

I progged a big crust on my hook and slowly walked round the banks looking for fish. The water levels had dropped a fair bit since my previous trip so the spot that produced my last fish of 19lb was now too shallow to fish and I continued on. A little further on was a big patch of water lilies - still a bit sparse after the winter die back. As I watched I saw a modest sized carp hanging between two leaves and gently fanning with its pectoral fins. I dunked the crust for a second and then swung it into the floating pads a little to the left of the fish. After the crust settled on the water I lay the rod down and slowy turned the reel handle to draw the crust up to the edge of the leaf which supported the line. I waited. The carp I had seen melted away after my bait plopped in and it was five minutes or more before I saw the lily pads twitch as a carp disturbed them. By now the little rudd had found my bait and were pecking away at it. By this time there were two or three spots in the bed of lilies where carp were nudging the leaves. The rudd stopped pestering my bread as a carp approached the baited hook and in a leisurely fashion it sucked in the crust and swam away, pulling the rod over and hooking itself. The fish put up a fair old tussle but once I had it in open water it was no match for the old spinning rod. I unhooked the carp (a common of about 9lb), took its picture and slipped it back as quickly as possible - good start!

I moved on looking for more fish and found large numbers basking in the sunny, reedy, shallows of the next lake. I lobbed a crust out and it lodged tight against a clump of dead, brown reed stems. I lay the rod down and waited. Twenty minutes passed and quite a few carp swam close to my bait without showing interest. I threw in a loose crust and within ten minutes a fish swam up and took it so I assumed that my bait was not in a good place. I reeled in and rebaited before casting into a small patch of open water only a metre or so from where the previous bait had been. This time the line lay over a reed stem and hung vertically down to the crust. Within five or ten minutes a fish sucked the crust in and (unusually) swam sedately towards me - apparently it was unaware of the hook and line. Now I generally wait for the fish to hook themselves but I could see the line moving as the carp swam slowly along so I broke my rule, picked up the rod and struck. It was on! This one turned out to be a fat sixteen pound common and it even behaved itself until I took a selfie.

All in all a good session but it did bring the average weight for the year down.

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 mere nine pounder - my smallest so far this year.


That's more like it! A fat sixteen-pound common in fine condition.


I thought this one was worth a selfie before being returned.