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).

Exactly what I wanted!

On wednesday evening I had another short session after seatrout. It was a bright, calm evening and with just a slight breeze, so it was easy to cast my little Rapala to the far bank without to much risk of snagging the overhanging brambles, reeds and nettles. I've become accustomed to starting at the upstream end of the stretch and having a couple of casts into every likely spot as I plug my way down.

Apart from a missed pluck from (presumably) a small trout there was nothing for the best part of an hour. Not too promising. I flicked the plug into a small slack under the far bank and began to wind. Almost at once there was a sharp tug and a boil but no hooked fish. 'Small pike' I thought. At least it was a fish so I had another cast to the same spot - nothing. I cast again knowing that small pike are usually keen enough to give me another chance. This time the line tightened and I was in. Sure enough the flashing, green flank soon revealed my catch to be a pike of about three pounds; since the plug was attached to my usual wire trace there was no chance of a 'bite-off', so I reeled in the pike and slid it onto the grass to have its picture taken. Better than nothing.

Now I was nearing the bottom end of the stretch. There was a wide, shallow riffle with a slightly deeper run taking most of the flow under the near bank. I cast across and allowed the plug to swing back to my side without winding - no sign. Two more casts each angled a bit further downstram than the previous one - still no sign. Time for one last try. I made a long cast straight down the nearside run and, ever so slowly, began to retrieve. I could feel the little plug vibrating wildly in the fast water. Crash! Bang! Wallop! Suddenly I was into a fish which immediately thrashed on the surface and ripped off a few metres of line against my fairly tight clutch. It had to be a seatrout.

I played the fish for a minute or two as it made short fast runs, interspersed with heavy, splashing at the surface; none of the usual 'trouty' jumps. I could see now that only one point of the tail treble was nicked into the jaw - hopefully with a firm hold. Where was the net? I looked round to see it ten metres upstream - this was becoming a (bad) habit. I backed away, and fortunately the fish followed, until I could pick up the net. Now, still keeping a tight line, I shifted to a spot with a bit less flow and where I could easily reach the water with the long net pole. I placed the net in the water and, holding the rod in my left (fairly useless) hand, manipulated the big, fat, seatrout over the rim and into the meshes. Got it!

I slid the fish ashore and, after unhooking it and taking a couple of pictures, by perching the camera precariously on top of my bag and setting the time release managed to take a reasonable selfie, first time. I always say that it only takes one bite to make a good session. It did.

Small pike love little lures like this.


Fortunately so do seatrout.


Nice one Mike!


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 -