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).

Not quite what I wanted - but OK.

My pals were still catching a few bass - at least until this week's chilly snap which may slow things down - but I haven't ventured to the saltwater since I came back from Brazil. However, I did go to the river in search of dace as bait for catching pike recently. Before I went away at the end of December I'd located a big shoal of dace in a local mill stream where they gather each year prior to the springtime spawning period. All I had to do was trot or leger a maggot and withing minutes a few good baits were guaranteed. Even though we'd had a few frosts and rain had raised water levels I fully expected to be able to repeat the excercise this month - no chance! My first trip was almost a total blank. I fished a feeder with maggots and for half-an-hour I couldn't buy a bite in my 'hot-spot'. I moved to a tiny weir pool a little further upstream but still no bites until suddenly I felt a light pluck. I struck and thought that I must have been mistaken and hooked a dead leaf. The 'leaf' turned out to be a small flounder. I have often caught these fish in freshwater during the warmer weather but this was a surprise for me, so many miles above the tide at this time of the year. I took it's picture and put it back to grow bigger.

My next session was with my pal Ben and his two boys Jake and Eli. The lads, like their dad, are both keen on fishing and will try for anything so as it was another decent day we decided to try for coarse fish. I couldn't believe that it would be as slow as my previous session so back we went to the same spot. The river was still pretty high (more rain since my previous visit) but quite fishable. I had brought two sets of gear, a short float rod and my trusty feeder set up. After twenty minutes or so it wasn't looking good and the natives were beginning to get restless (well, they're not as old and 'boring-proof' as me and their dad), then there was a bite on the feeder rod which we (=I) missed. Encouraged we flogged on and then we were in on the feeder tackle. It was instantly apparent that the fish was no dace and would be far too large for a pike bait. We landed it, unhooked it and took a couple of pictures. The boys bravado soon evaporated when they saw how wriggly and slimy our grayling was so the 'trophy' pictures were 'group shots'. Two more decent grayling completed the session and we packed in reasonably well satisfied.

A few days later I went again and only managed half-a-dozen grayling and one salmon parr. It looks as though it may have to be a wobbled herring or pilchard if I want to catch myself a pike. I wonder what's happened to the dace?

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 -

My flounder - not a monster but interesting.


A slightly better picture of the fish giving an idea of its size.


Young Eli had a bit of trouble hanging on to the writhing grayling so it was a two man job.


Jake was amused by my efforts to hold the fish while his dad took a picture.


One of the six fish I had on my solo trip.