Catch fish with Mike Ladle.

Catch Fish with
Mike Ladle


Information Page

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 four 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. 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 so if you are new to fly fishing or spinning these are the ones for you).

11 November 2005.

Piking again.

The rivers have been so awful recently that I had not even considered going fishing. Of course it's a seasonal thing. Throughout the spring and summer months water plants grow in profusion and act a s a trap for sediment. Mud and sand accumulate in thousands of tonnes on the river bed in the low summer flows. The Autumn rains, usually about this time of year, raise the water levels, speed up the flow and shift the flow patterns with the result that much of the accumulated sediment is disturbed. This pattern of events is why the 'first floods of Autumn' are usually very dirty. The water in my local river - usually sparkling clear - has recently been like thick cocoa.

Anyway I was becoming a bit frustrated with the constant dirty water. Twice I had driven to the river only to find it totally unfishable. Anyway it was with mixed feelings that I went the other day to find it looking like weak tea with only a dash of milk. Far from ideal for pike spinning but I felt that I was in with a chance. I was using my bass spinning gear so I clipped off the plug and tied on a large silver spoon thinking that it would maximise the visibility of the lure in the turbid water.

As I approached the river I walked alongside a narrow ditch in which the water was gin clear. I thought that it might just hold a pike sheltering from the flow so I walked to the edge to have a cast. As I did so a jack shot away at my approach - encouraging. I fished all the way to where the ditch met the main river to no avail. Obviously the fish I had scared was the only one in the ditch. Just outside the mouth of the ditcch was a shallow weedy bay and second cast a green torpedo lunged out of the murk and grabbed the lure - success! I played, landed and returned the pike. By now I was really optimistic but it was misplaced. For the next half hour I spun assiduously without even a sniff of a pike. In fact there were not all that many 'pikey' places to fish and I must have walked the best part of a mile while I was fishing. I was just thinking about 'giving them best' when I reached a fairly deep stretch (about a metre or so) with a slow flow along my bank. I made several casts along straight downstream and retrieved parallel to the bankside. Suddently there was a splash and a flash just under my stance and the second pike of the session hooked itself. A satisfying spell of fishing for such unpromising conditions.

End of ditch.

The water was murkier than it looks.

First pike.

Nicely hooked under the maxilla and ready to land.

Nice pike.

They're all nice on a day like that.

The second one.

this time it's hooked in the tip of the snout.  The hooks were razor sharp.


It wriggled under the rod just as I released the shutter.