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 for me and a big fish for Adrian.

As I mentioned in the latest Saltwater page the recent weather has been dire. It's almost two weeks since I went seatrout fishing because of the rain. Anyway, I've been to the river twice since I wrote the last web page. The first trip was just as it was getting dark. I fished, as usual this year, with a little Rapala, and for half-an-hour it seemed pretty dead. I had one pluck - probably from a small trout - which I missed. Just as it was getting almost too dark to see where I was casting, I reached a fast flowing stretch. I pitched the plug well downstream being careful to avoid the far bank, and held the rod up high. I could feel the lure vibrating strongly in the current and then there was the typical, yank, crash, splash of a decent seatrout. It took a little while to steer the fish into a suitable place to net it, so by the time I'd landed it, unhooked it, taken a picture and slipped it back it was virtually dark. Of course I couldn't resist another cast and to my surprise I was in again. This fish was a bit smaller (about 1kg) than the previous one so I did the honours and then decided that I'd had my share of snag-free casts in the gloom, and went home.

A few days later I decided, for a change, to try pike fishing. I was all set up to catch a few baits but when I arrived I found my pal Adrian Pinder getting his float gear out of the car. We had a socially distanced natter, and Adrian told me that there were no baits to be had (he'd tried earlier in the week). To prove the point he ran his float through a few times and managed one bite - a seatrout. Now, if Adrian can't catch baits there is little chance of me getting one, so I decided to put on a big pike lure and fish the same stretch as my pal (in different spots of course). As it turned out I never had a bite but it still turned out to be an interesting couple of hours.

Adrian was float fishing with red maggots on two-pound nylon and a tiny hook. Things were slow for him too but eventually I saw his rod bend and walked up to see him land a nice grayling of well over two pounds. We fished on, and it was some time later when I heard a call and saw my pal into his second fish of the day. This one was clearly more of a handful and by the time I arrived with the camera he was still engaged in a long struggle. It was obviously a really good fish, so I took a few pictures as he gradually brought the fish to the net and lifted it out. What a beauty! He opted to weigh it before returning it to the river. Exactly three-and-a-half pounds, and the biggest grayling he had ever landed (he's had other three pounders). After doing the honours Adrian spent five or ten minutes reviving his catch before releasing it to swim away. That was it for the afternoon, no fish for me and only two for my mate, but a really worthwhile trip.

My first seatrout caught on a Rapala in the dark.


Adrian into his big fish.


It slides into the net.


Does he look pleased?


Angler and fish, both well on the way to recovery.


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 -