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).

Seatrout on the plug.

Thank you Dan! My new computer is lightening fast compared to the old model that I've just had to get rid of; but the changeover has not been without it's problems. Anyone who follows the website will have noticed that I've not posted any pages for over a month but - at long last - my youngest son Dan, despite the fact that he lives in Perth Australia, has fixed it so I can at last post a few updates.

My last Freshwater piece regarding wire traces for toothy (wanted or unwanted) fish is spot on. As I said it soon becomes apparent when I fish with 20lb wire that most of the fish that I target are not 'wire shy'. In short, when my desired 'seatrout' fails to jump and turns into the tug-of-war battle with a decent pike, at least I don't need to worry whether it will bite through the line. In fact my recent seatrout sessions have been pretty productive with fish of between one and three kg taking the lures pretty regularly. A typical hour at dusk generally results in three or four takes of which I typically land at least one. On a good trip nothing comes unstuck. There is often the bonus of a few perch or jacks to keep me interested between 'trout' bites.

Three recent seatrout sorties were reasonably productive and although the fish varied in their 'freshness' (i.e. how long they'd been in the river) they generally put up a good show on the spinning gear. The ones I lose generally throw the hooks because of their aerial acrobatics and there's not much I can do about that. It can be difficult to predict where the fish will be and I get bites in every type of water from deep, sluggish sections to shallow fast flowing riffles. The only really consistent spots are the tails of pools where the fish seem to gather as it gets dark. It can be tricky fishing as the trout are easily scared by an unwary approach. Stand a little too close and you are likely to see a big bow wave as the fish depart. When I'm plugging I try to make a long cast down and across to the opposite bank so that the lure lands just where the water breaks into the shallows. I then let the lure swing across to my own bank before retrieving. Sometimes the take comes as soon as the lure begins to work and at other times the fish follow it upstream for some distance before grabbing it. An alternative is to work upstream casting a plug or a Mepps ahead of you and winding back a bit faster than the flow.

The only real problem of this plug fishing approach is how to land the fish. Firstly I have to search for the fish by walking the banks in the dark. The river that I fish often has high grassy banks and apart from the danger of missing your step in the gloom and plummeting into six feet of water it can be difficult to find anywhere suitable to 'beach' or unhook fish (my preference). I almost always take my long handled net with me in case I hook something too big to slide ashore in a situation whereI have no way get down into the river and release it without drowning. I only resort to the net in desperation because I invariably finish up trying to untangle the lure from the meshes. Still, it's a small price to pay for good fishing.

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, skinny seatrout neatly hooked on the tail treble.


A better one on the same lure - note the hook stuck in my net.


I try to take the odd selfie with better fish before I put them back.


Small perch can be a nuisance (or a bonus depending on your point of view).


The reason for my length of wire.


A beautiful seatrout.


... and another.


I have to use the camera flash after dark hence the occasional poor image.