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).

Joe's pike.

Years ago my good friend Nigel and I sometimes took Nigel's son Joe fishing. As often happens in teenage years, Joe lost interest in catching fish and it is only recently that he's again started going with his Dad occasionally. Anyway, the other day Nigel said that Joe fancied the experience of catching a pike again so we arranged a trip to the local river. Not surprisingly Joe had changed a bit since I last saw him. He's now bigger than me and has a beard for example.

Nigel had brought enough gear to sink a ship and our first job was to catch a couple of baits. This proved to be a lot easier than I'd anticipated. It wasn't long before we had some decent dace and at this point Nigel picked up his fly rod, I had my spinning tackle and Joe was armed with his dad's pike rod, float gear and a circle hook on a wire trace. While Nige went off to try and catch a trout on the fly I walked to a likely pool with Joe and watched as he lowered the bait in and let it swim round. It didn't start too well and for perhaps ten minutes there was no sign of a pike. I suggested that we might move a few metres upstream and try another promising spot. In went the bait and it wasn't long before the float shot away. Joe had never used a circle hook rig before but he knew exactly what to do (dad's instruction?) and after a few seconds he slowly tightened to feel the pike zooming about on the end. Apart from the time ithat the fish buried itself in a weed bed and had to be extracted by force it was a text-book capture. Before long we were admiring the eight pound fish and taking the required pictures.

To be honest that was almost it for the afternoon. Joe had another bite from a smaller pike which, typically, dropped the bait and untypically wouldn't come back. Nigel had a small seatrout on the fly and a couple of missed bites and I had a quick spin which produced nothing. However, the main object of the trip - Joe catching a pike - had been achieved and he seemed well pleased. The following evening I went to try and actually catch something myself by trying for a seatrout as it got dark. My first cast with a tiny, jointed Rapala produced a take from a huge fish which I failed to connect with. A few minutes later I hooked a modest trout of two or three pounds, which leaped about and came unstuck, then I caught a nice five pounder. I was well satisfied as it swam away after having its picture taken. Must go back and try for that big one.

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 -

Joe's pike on the bank.


Not a bad looking fish.


Ready to be returned.


My seatrout - pity it wasn't the big one!


I'm gradually getting the hang of quick selfies in the dark.