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).

Bad back!

Last week I twisted my back while digging the garden. Strictly speaking I lifted a spadefull of soil while holding it at an awkward angle. It's an old injury and I should know better by now; anyway, it has put paid to the rock-hopping for a little while. This week it was feeling a bit less painful so I opted to try a gentle hour's seatrout fishing on my local river. Just to test it out.

I was using my normal set up - a 7cm jointed Rapala on a short anti-pike, wire trace - and fishing mostly down and across. To my surprise the first cast produced a bite which was clearly no seatrout and I reeled in a half-pound perch. Good start, I thought. Two more casts and I was in again -- another slightly smaller perch. Now I'm thinking this could be a good little session. I pressed on downstream, casting and retrieving every few paces but apart from one snatch, probably a small trout, which I missed, almost an hour passed with nothing else to show for it. Time to go, so I had the obligatory last cast. The lure wiggled its way across the flow and was almost back to my bank when wallop - it was taken. There was no splashing or jumping so I immediatelty thought 'pike'.

Perch number 1.


Perch number 2.


Sure enough it was a pike. Typically, when using such small lures, it was a little pike. I'd almost forgotten that for several years my pals and I using similar, small, salmon-size luresand caught no pike over about eight pounds. A switch to large lures and baits (wobbled dead baits) produced many larger pike, with one in four being a double figure fish.

The modest pike, on the small lure - ready to be landed.


Got it! Beached to keep the hooks out of the net.


A bit better picture.


A couple of days later I tried again with a similar result. This time I did see a big seatrout but the only catch for an hour of flogging was a pike of a few pounds. It's time I had a go for decent pike again, instead of constantly plugging for seatrout.

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 -