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).

Transition time.

I can spin my local rivers for seatrout after the 15th of May; before that it's fly only and can be a bit hard on my iffy shoulder. Anyway I started the week with another carp fishing session on the lakes. The weather had cooled down quite a bit since I saw the fish spawning on my previous trip so I was a bit more hopeful. In fact I started really well; within five minutes of my crust settling into a gap in the reeds it was taken and after a bit of a heave ho I landed a small mirror of five or six pounds.

After catching the first carp I walked on round to see if I could find any other signs of feeding activity. I had not gone far when I saw a fish move on the far side of a patch of lily leaves. The water lilies are still fairly sparse at this time of the year so they don't provide much cover for fish. I usually try and put the bait in the reeds rather than letting it drift from leaf to leaf but having seen a fish I opted to try placing it against a pad. The cast, for once, fell perfectly and I drew the crust up to a leaf so that all the line was on top of it. For twenty minutes there was no further sign of life except when a fish slurped in a freeby that I'd thrown into the reed bed on my left. I gave it another five minutes before I reeled in, rebaited and plonked the crust close to where the fish had taken. For a while the hordes of tiny rudd pecked at my bait but it was big enough to withstand a bit of damage; then suddenly it was grabbed by a carp which plunged off into the dry reed stems. The trick now was to manipulate the fish near enough to be netted. This took me a while. I had to wangle the net through the bankside brambles to get it in the water but I managed and eventually had a nice common in the mid-teens on the bank. Excellent!

At this point a pal who I hadn't seen since last season came up behind me and asked how it was going. After a few minutes chat I moved on to look for more carp but decided that two would have to be enough and went home to have something to eat.

That evening Nigel rang to ask if I fancied an evening on the river - he likes to try a mayfly for the trout and there have been a few about. We arranged to meet on the 17th but I couldn't resist having a look the previous evening so I picked up the spinning rod, clipped on a little Rapala and set off for an hour on the water. The river appears to be full of weed so my slow sinking plug wasn't an ideal weapon. Any cast down and across resulted in it catching on the Ranunculus but the lure was recently given to me by my old pal Harry Casey who sadly can no longer fish and I was determined to give it a good try. I flogged on for a while but apart from a small trout which boiled behind the lure I saw nothing. In addition only a single mayfly emerged while I was fishing. Before packing in I decided to have a quick dabble in the race of a small gauging weir which has produced in past years. I stood by the sill and flicked the plug downstream. I could see it wriggling enticingly but nothing moved. My next cast was just a little further to the edge of the overhanging alder branches. This time as the lure reached the white water the line twanged tight and a beautiful, plump, silver seatrout flew into the air. The fish cleared the water four times in all before I could land it and take its picture. I slipped it back and packed in. Thanks for the lure Harry!

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 small mirror but a quick start.


A much better fish on a sunny afternoon.


First trip of the year after seatrout. Harry's plug and a nice fish for the off.