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).

At last!

I have to admit that the fishing has been 'a bit thin' lately. For various reasons I certainly haven't fished as much as usual and, when I did venture out, the results were poor. This has included a couple of abortive attempts to catch seatrout (usually a 'banker' when other fish are scarce). I went with my pal Nigel on Tuesday and neither of us had any fish. the only interest being a couple of pulls from tiny trout which weren't hooked. Anyway, yesterday (Thursday) evening I decided to give it another go. I was using my little Teklon rod and the usual 'bass' gear with a 15lb, knottable wire, anti-pike trace.

The river looked to be in decent condition and, although we'd had a recent failure I was sure that there would be seatrout in. I arrived just after 20:00hr and, before I began to fish the main river, I decided to try the J7 Rapala in the adjacent Mill Stream. I lowered the plug into the race downstream of a little weir and allowed it to drift down to some overhanging willows on the far bank. When I judged that it had gone just far enough to be under the branches without getting tangled in them I closed the bale arm. As I did so the rod was yanked round and I was in. Just about the best start that I could have had. At first the fish thrashed on the surface and dragged off a few metres of line. I held the rod tip under the water to keep the braid clear of the trailing willows and to my relief the seatrout swung out of the main flow into the slower water on the near bank. Now it was just a case of picking up the net, climbing over the fence and trying to lead my catch near enough to be landed.

That first fish was about two-and-a-half-pounds in weight, pretty brightly coloured and very spotty. It had probably been in the river for some time but was still fat and in good condition. After unhooking it, taking a couple of pictures and popping it back I felt encouraged and set off down the main stream in high spirits


I worked my way along, stopping to make a couple of casts into the most likely spots. It was probably ten minutes before I had another bite. I had cast down and across a deeper, slower-flowing stretch and was retrieving the lure back up my own bank when the fish struck. This one was smaller and bright silver, typically it went berserk. The little trout repeatedly thrashed at the surface and flung itself clear of the water like a small silver dolphin, but it was no match for the gear and the hook hold was secure so it was soon photographed and returned, having unhooked itself by its gyrations in the net.

Two fish in fifteen minutes - excellent! I plodded on and it wasn't long before I had a third seatrout a little larger than the second one. Again it was fresh and silver and fought like a dervish. Once more I played it in and netted it to have its picture taken. By now I was thinking this could be a really good session. However, I was soon brought down to Earth again and I never had another sniff, even in places that looked almost certain to hold fish. Still, no complaints from me, it was just good to catch something, even if it made the poor old arm ache a bit. Probably just as well for my injured shoulder there were no monsters.

A plump but stale seatrout with lots of spots - hooked on my first cast.


Nicely hooked on the Rapala.


The second fish. Only small but much fresher than the first one.


Another nicely conditioned one, just a bit bigger.


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 -