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).

Catching up on catching.

It's like learning to fish again after my bit of a lay off. In fact I've been trying to do a little of everything this week - running water, still water and seashore. After catching a few chub from the river on a small plug I decided to try and tempt one or two better perch. Instead of the usual shallow diving Rapala I opted to fish a bit deeper with an Ondex spinner given to me by my pal Dave last year. I was a bit late getting to the river so it was already light when I arrived - not ideal. I tried under the lip of the weir for starters - nothing! I moved to the tail of the pool and began to fan the casts across. I had one or two slight taps which I assumed were small perch nipping at the tail of the lure then there was a sharper bite and I hooked into what I hoped (for a second or two) was a decent perch but turned out to be a small jack. 'Better than nothing' I thought and waded towards the bank towing the fish along so I could get the camera out. I held the rod in my left hand as I wrestled the camera from its pocket but as I switched it on the fish unhooked itself and swam away. I slipped the camera into my jacket pocket, just in case, and returned to my spinning. Five minutes later I hooked a reasonable fish and I could tell immediately from the knocking battle that it was a perch. It wasn't a bad one - over a pound anyway - so I took a couple of pictures as it swam round my legs before unhooking it and letting it go. I quickly had several more perch before I packed in but none was a big as the first one.

When I got home I popped to the bakers and bought a small farmhouse loaf. I cut the bread into cubes and bagged them up in 'one session' portions for the freezer, keeping one unfrozen for use that afternoon. Twenty-five pence for a session's worth of carp bait appeals to my Yorkshire upbringing. That afternoon was blazing hot again and I wondered whether the carp would be interested in feeding. When I got to the lakes there were only a couple of other anglers in residence so I guessed that things may have been slow recently. I walked to the water and could see lots of carp on the surface in the largest, most popular water (where the other anglers were already in action). I moved on to the next lake and saw a decent carp close to a patch of lily leaves. I flicked a crust out and waited but apart from the attentions of tiny rudd nothing came to take the bread. I gave it fifteen minutes and walked along to the next accessible pitch. The water in front of me was solid with Canadian pond weed. I could see one hole in the weed about a metre square and a good carp was visible in the space finning gently. I baited up and lobbed a crust into the hole drawing it to the edge so that it rested against the weed. The carp melted away after the crust splashed down but five minutes later it was back, along with a couple of mates. One of the fish swam towards my bait and tilted up to give it a suck. It sucked so hard that it got a free meal and left me with a bare hook. I baited up and cast again, this time I had to wait a bit longer but when the bite came it had the same result. Well, at least the fish were interested. I wondered if the warm water was softening the bait so much that it was extra-easy to remove. My next bait was a tough corner of crust to see if it would stay on better. Sure enough when the carp took it next time it hooked itself and plunged off into the mat of weed dragging the rod round as it went. I leaned back and put as much pressure on the fish as possible but it seemed to be stuck. I jiggled the rod to try and make the carp move and after a few tugs it worked. This time I managed to lift the head of the fish and slide it over the weed. Now it was near the bank and it was only a matter of time before I had it in the net. A nice fish of about fifteen pounds. A couple of pictures and back it went. Phew!

After landing the carp I moved on to another spot and in fact I had a couple more bites which removed the crusts without being hooked. As I was baiting up again I heard a splash and looked up to see a deer in the water on the opposite side of the lake, it was eating lily pads. I took a couple of pictures and resumed my fishing. A few minutes later there was a rustling in the bracken behind me and I looked round to see that the deer had come round to my side and was watching me. It seemed unafraid so I picked up the camera and took some more pictures. After that I had no more bites so I returned home. A pleasant couple of hours - but I should have had more carp.

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 first and largest perch of the river trip.


Perch are greedy things and I needed my pliers to remove the hook.


Not the prettiest carp in the world but a decent fish nonetheless.


The deer eating lily leaves.


This time it was having a close look (hoping for some of my bread?).