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).

More pike

I've been pike fishing to my local river twice more this week. Both sessions were just an hour or so in the afternoon. The last trip, when conditions seemed best, was a total blank. I didn't even have a sniff of a pike. Again I failed to catch a dace for bait, they simply seem to have disappeared although it should be the ideal time and conditions for catching them. I did land a small seatrout, several tiny parr and a good sized grayling but of course they were simply returned. The previous session was more interesting. Again I had no dace so I used a frozen sardine hooked through the head and suspended under a wine bottle cork.

I started fishing where there was a couple of metres of slack water directly under where I was standing. Every few seconds I gave the bait a twitch to make it look as though it was alive (but on its last fins). Only minutes after starting to fish a green shape swept out from beneath my feet and the cork whipped under. I tightened the line and I was in. To be honest the fish didn't fight all that hard and I soon had it in the net and on the bank. A decent specimen of twelve or thirteen pounds which I photographed, unhooked and returned. Good start!

I fished the rest of the pool without incident then moved on upstream to the end of another ditch (I'm assuming that the pike are now seeking out suitable spawning places). The slack area at the new spot was only a few metres square and as I swung the bait in there was a bow wave close to the bank - scared pike? I moved the bait a short distance to where I thought the fish might have gone and it was taken instantly. I waited for a few seconds and then tightened. The fish was on, or so I thought. I played it round the pool for a minute or so and was just thinking about picking up the net when the fish made a strong rush out into the main flow and came off.

I muttered a few kind words and checked that the bait was still in order (apart from one or two lacerations). It was probably five minutes of trial and error before I managed to induce another take in the spot where the fish had come unstuck. This time I made no mistake and landed a nicely hooked eight pounder. That was my last (second) bait gone. All's well that ends well!

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 -

Just about lower teens but a nice, fat fish.


Smaller and trickier to catch.


beautiifully hooked at the second attempt.