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).

Not my best pike pictures.

I really do need to use a15lb, knottable wire, anti-pike trace when spinning in my local river. To be honest, although they used to be very common (and often large), pike have recently been a bit thin on the ground, but they are still there as I found this week. Anyway, following an abortive bass trip at dawn, I decided, yesterday afternoon, to have an hour in search of seatrout. I used my little Teklon rod and simply clipped on a jointed, 7cm Rapala.

The river was low and clearish although, with an overcast sky and the threat of rain, visibility could have been better. I started fishing at the top end of the stretch and for twenty minutes or so - nothing! I reached a deeper, slower flowing stretch and made a long cast down and across. I could feel the little, jointed plug wriggling as it swung across the modest current. Smack! The rod whanged round as I had a sharp, heavy take. The fish was on and immediately began to run downstream against a strong drag. It was a very abrupt bite, and the fish moved off quickly without jumping or breaking the surface, so probably not a seatrout. After a long run it turned and began to swim back upstream towards me, now I was thinking "salmon?". Already it had passed where I stood, still swimming deep without being seen, so I was keen to get a look at it (there are few things worse than losing a decent fish without knowing what it was). I had no idea how big the fish it might be so I was reluctant to try and heave it to the surface for fear of a break.

After perhaps five minutes of give and take it surfaced and I saw the lean, green shape of a fair sized pike. It was only a slight disappointment as pike have been less common than salmonids in catches for years now. Taking the camera from my pocket I took a couple of pictures just in case it might escape. The fish was far from exhausted and it was still minutes before I managed to draw it near enough to the bank to be netted. It is always a good idea to avoid netting fish head first if there is a danger of hooks becoming entangled in the meshes. So, placing the net in the water, I tried to let the pike drift backwards over the rim. At the first attempt it managed to swim back out, but next time it was safely in the folds and I dragged it onto the damp grass using my left hand (the injured right arm is still iffy).

The pike was about 5kg (11lb) and after removing the hooks I took a couple more pictures before returning it to the river. It was certainly the best pike battle that I've had for some time and I was quite pleased with my catch. The clip on the wire trace looked as though it had been strained by the fight, so I changed it before reattaching the lure and continuing to fish. Thank heavens for trace wire. Apart from a couple of decent trout that failed to ingest my lure the only other action was a tiny brown-trout caught on my last cast. As I packed in the rain started, so I was happy to make my way back to the car and drive home.

My first. view of the 'motor-pike'.


Close to the grassy bank and almost ready for the net.


A picture of my catch as it lay in the net.


A bad selfie with the camera perched on my bag.


The camera readjusted but the picture no better - should have switched on the flash.


My titchy trout hooked under its chin.


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 -