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, rain and a cool, dark night.

The weather has changed at last. Following a warm, dry September we have finally had some rain and it is also cooling down. During the warm spell I've been doing a spot of spinning in the rivers with a few seatrout, pike and chub to show for it. Anyway, it was a couple of days since I'd had a dabble, and I was unsure whether the heavy showers would have had any influence on the levels or colour of water in the rivers: I guessed not but with an evening free I decided to have a look. With petrol being in short supply locally I did not want to travel too far for my exploration, so I drove to the nearest accessible stretch of river. One glance, as I drove over the bridge, showed that the rain had not made any difference and it was still low and clear. With the forecast for heavy rain the following morning I decided to have half-an-hour's spinning. A quick call to my wife on the mobile phone (at last I've been 'persuaded' to carry one and learn how to use it) gave me the all clear and I set off.

With the bag containing spare gear, camera, etc. on my back, the rod in one hand and net in the other, I tramped across the field to the river. It was only just after 18:30hr so still reasonably light when my little Rapala first splashed into the water. I worked my way downstream making one or two casts into each worthwhile spot. For fifteen minutes there was nothing. Now the light was beginning to fail quickly and I was wondering whether perhaps I'd been wrong in assuming the fish might be active. I cast to my right, down and across a deeper, slower flowing stretch, and had just begun to retrieve when there was a huge swirl in mid river to my left - I guessed it was a very large seatrout or possibly a salmon. Of course I couldn't resist a few casts to the general area of the disturbance but typically the fish showed no interest; so I moved on down.

Of course, seeing a good fish is always encouraging so I fished with a touch more enthusiasm as I approached the head of a short stretch of rapids. A big bow wave moved away from the far bank, possibly another decent seatrout. I cast again towards the rapids and, without winding, held the rod up and allowed the plug to wriggle across the flow. When the lure reached mid-river I began a slow retrieve and almost at once the rod slashed round and a fish sprang into the air. Seatrout! As usual there was a lively struggle with the fish rushing here and there and making one or two splashy leaps but it was no match for the tackle and within a couple of minutes I was able to slide it ashore to have its picture taken before slipping it back into the river.

Of course, now I was as keen as mustard. A few more casts and as I approached the next riffle I was in again. The jumping, splashing, rushing battle was repeated and again I took a picture before returning my second, slightly larger seatrout. By now it was so dark that I was having to take each step with great care to avoid a clumsy plunge into the water. I only use my headlamp for essentials such as tangles or lure changes so some caution is needed to tread the banks in the dark. I'd reached a wide pool where the cattle ford the river - no bites there, so I decided that my last cast would be into the shallow riffle downstream. Out went the Rapala again and at once it was taken by another lively seatrout. The whole scenario was repeated for a third time.

Of course I couldn't resist a couple more 'last casts' but there was no more action. As I returned to the car in almost total darkness I wondered whether I should have pressed on and tried some of the other likely spots. The forecast for the following day was a deluge and it proved to be correct. For sure the river will now be murky and full of drifting crap. Perhaps I should have continued but I guess that would have been greedy.

My first seatrout - already I needed a flash to take its picture.


The second fish was a bit bigger.


The third seatrout was the smallest of the session.


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