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 spinning and a hectic session.

When the tides are wrong and/or the wind is too strong or from a bad direction, making the sea fishing 'iffy', I tend to fall back onto a default approach. At the moment that default is spinning for seatrout, perch, pike or chub. In fact with the successions of depressions we've had and the accompanying heavy rain even the river has been more or less unfishable for fifty percent of the time. Despite one or two 'rained off' sessions I managed to go seatrout fishing a couple of times and caught nice fish every time I went so I was well pleased.

My pal Martyn and I have had a number of excellent bass catches in the past month so during a recent lull in the saltwater conditions he was itching to have a go for something. Anyway, I suggested that we tried the river for an hour one evening. Martyn is pretty competent with the spinning rod so the next day we arrived on the bank armed with our 'bass tackle'. I had loaned Martyn a small, all purpose, jointed Rapala on a wire trace and we began to fish. Before beginning to fish myself I followed him down and muttered a few words about the basic approach that I use but it wasn't really necessary. I think it was his third cast when there was a boil and the rod jerked round as a decent fish snatched his lure, wriggled a couple of times and came unstuck. Good start!

After the flying start things went dead and despite an hour or so of flogging away neither of us had another bite apart from a small perch which took Martyn's plug. At least one of us avoided a blank. Of course missing a decent fish was the best possible incentive for my pal to have another go and a few days later as the light was beginning to fail we were at it again, armed with the same kit.

I suggested that Martyn started by fishing the run off from a big pool while I walked over to the far bank. I left the net on the bank with my pal assuming that if one of us caught something sizable the other one would nip across and help land it. On my first cast the lure was almost back to the rod tip when there was a savage take and line was ripped off against a tight clutch. The fish splashed and crashed about but it was firmly hooked so I shouted to Martyn and set about trying to play it and looked for a handy place to get it out. I was standing behind a thicket of bankside reeds and the bank was steep so I decided to lead it along to a gap in the vegetation. I looked up to see if the cavalry was on its way, only to see Martyn with his rod bent and a fish leaping from the water. What should we do?

I could see that my pal was in a bit of a dilemma with the net on the bank several metres behind him, a steep drop to the water, a strong flow and a very lively fish. By now my trout was tiring but as I was leading it to the potential landing spot it had managed to tie the trace round a tough reed stem and wasn't going anywhere. I opened the bale arm and hung the rod over the barbed wire fence behind me so that the only way it could be pulled in would be to uproot the fence. I lumbered across the bridge to the other bank, picked up the net and went to assist in landing the fish. We quickly had it ashore and unhooked before taking a couple of pictures then it was back, net in hand, to see what had happened to my fish. It was still there hung on the reed. A few pokes with the net dislodged it and it slid into the meshes. We unhooked it, Martyn took a picture and back it went. By the time we were ready to fish again it was pretty dark and tricky to walk about the banks without shining lights so, well satisfied, we packed in and went home. What a session!

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 modest seatrout caught on the small plug.


One a bit bigger.


It's getting towards that time when the bigger fish are colouring up pre-spawning.


Martyn pleased with his first ever seatrout.


Mine ready to go back.