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).


A couple of weeks ago I lost my one and only 7cm, jointed Rapala, so I went to the local tackle shop to get a replacement. Sure enough Dean had some but they were a bit garish for my taste so when I got home it was out with the Humbrol and silver nail varnish (not for my nails I have to say) to tone it down a bit. I was reasonably happy with the result but as yet it had only produced jack pike and one seatrout.

Anyway, we are painting the house at the moment (long overdue and stimulated by the Covid lock down) so I've not fished as much as I might have done. A couple of days back it drizzled for the best part of 24 hours. There was no substantial rain and to be honest it didn't really wet the soil, but it was followed by a dry, cool, overcast day and I thought it might be worth a try on the river. I went out at about 19:00hr and walked to the top of the stretch. The river looked more or less as it has for weeks, low, clear and unusually weedless. I clipped on the newly decorated Rapala for its second swim and began to fish. I was, as usual, casting down and across, allowing the lure to wiggle its way back to my side of the river and then retrieving. Two or three casts fanned out from any particular stance gave a reasonable coverage of the water.

About ten minutes after starting I had a strong bite just after the plug splashed down and there was an explosion of activity on the surface. The fish hurled itself into the air. "Seatrout?" was my first reaction and then I realised that although the fish was a bar of silver it had a broad, brilliant-pink stripe along it's flank. "Steelhead!" was my second thought - and at that point it came unstuck. I muttered the usual little incantation for a lost fish and decided that I was ninety-five percent certain that the fish was a sea-run rainbow. Whatever! Without a picture no one would believe me so I continued fishing - encouraged.

The following hour was all action with one seatrout after another attacking the lure. All of the fish were between 0.7 and 1.5kg, so they were nice seatrout and they were all looked alike - beautifully silver with lots of black spots. Of course they were no match for the 'bass tackle' but they put up spirited attempts to escape and two of the six managed to unhook themselves almost at once. The hour-and-a-half's fishing produced seven bites from 'decent trout' three lost and four landed, not bad by my standards.

After a good session I decided to give it a go the following evening. Fishing an adjacent stretch downstream for about the same length of time I only had two bites and this time managed to land one jack pike and one seatrout. Pity about the one that got away - was it a steelhead???

The first seatrout of the first session on my repainted Rapala.


... and another one on the plug.


.. and a third


...and a fouth. I try to avoid using the net because of the risk of tangling the lure and damaging or losing fish.


The pike on my second trip. Small pike love small plugs.


The seatrout on my second 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 -