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).

Pike n' grayling.

The weather has been pretty good this week so I've had a couple of sessions at the river. Firstly I fished for pike with the usual circle hook and wine bottle cork float and the second time I tried feeder fishing for grayling - a method that I'm not familiar with.

The piking was pretty successful. I adopted my usual approach of giving each spot ten minutes and if nothing was forthcoming I moved on to the next likely spot. The first task was to catch a couple of baits and this proved to be easy since I had three dace in three casts. I walked to the river from my bait spot and lowered the float into a big pool, it swam round beautifully but the pike were not interested (I'm sure that there must have been one or two in there). A short distance upstream was a smaller pool under my own bank so again I lowered the bait in and let the float drift down into the margin. There was a plop and it shot under. Between me and the pike was a mass of overhanging brambles, so it was a little while until I could persuade the pike to head out into the current so I could manoeuvre it past the snags. Eventually the fish was guided into the long handled net (I was standing well above the water). The pike - just on a double - was nicely hooked on my barbless circle hook which fell out in the net. Good start!.

After returning the fish I moved on upstream to a long slack with reeds growing on the bank. The prime pikey spot, just where the current breaks away from the slack water, produced nothing so I worked the bait along the edge until It was ten metres downstream of my starting point. Bob, bob went the cork and the water erupted as a good fish crashed out of the reeds and seized the bait. Holding the rod high to avoid my line catching on the reed stems I played the fish as it made a series of strong runs. Walking slowly back upstream I reached a point where I could use the net. The fish was in the meshes but I couldn't see the hook. Careful examination showed that it was actually hooked as per usual in the scissors but only the bend was showing outside the mouth. No need for pliers, a quick twist and the hook was out. This one weighed 14lb. I began to walk back downstream and met my pal Adrian coming the other way with his pike tackle. we fished together for a while but had no more bites.

Adrian told me that he'd recently caught some big grayling so a couple of days later I was enthused to give them a go. I bought some maggots and set up a swim feeder (AS I suggested I'm not keen on feeders and have rarely used one). All in all I fished for a couple of hours, sat on a wasps nest (the wasps didn't seem too bothered) and caught four grayling with the best almost two pounds. So, nothing special but a pleasant session. I must get Adrian to show me how to fish a feeder properly.

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 -

The first pike, ten pounds and looking good.


My second pike with its maxilla caught on the net mesh.


The hook is almost invisible but still in the jaw.


Selfie with the 14 pounder - as usual too much contrast against the sky.


Smallish grayling just over a pound.


Close up shows the beautiful violet sheen and the pear shaped pupil.


One of several pictures spoiled by lively, wriggling grayling.


The best one getting on for a couple of pounds.