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).

17 November 2005.

Semicircle pike.

This really is the last piece before my holiday. I've been itching to try out some semicircle hooks for pike fishing. For a couple of seasons I have been using circle hooks with good results and I expect that they will remain my standard approach until something better comes along. However, there are some Varivas semicircles (that I was given) in my bag and I wondered whether they might be just as good as the full circles for bait fishing. At this time of year pike are the obvious species to try them out on so I did.

I tackled up with half a wine bottle cork for a float, a semicircle on some twenty pound wire and my usual 'bass' rod and reel. The first place I tried I had a bite and after playing the fish for a while it came unstuck - I guessed that it was seven or eight pounds from the glimpses that I saw. Anyway, the pike refused to take another bait so I moved on. Things were a bit slow and it was half an hour before I had another bite. This time the fish slashed at the bait as I was lifting it from the water and missed it completely so I was confident that it would have another go. Sure enough a couple of minutes later away went the float. I waited for five seconds and then gently raised the rod to tighten the line. At first the fish seemed uncertain what had happened then it tore away. The fish was soon landed, unhooked (perfectly nicked in the jaw) and released. It was another twenty minutes and two pools later before I had another bite - at the end of a ditch. This time I played the fish into the ditch where it was again landed - once more perfectly hooked.

I decided that, to finish off the session, I'd have a go for the one that I had lost at the start. It was a couple of minutes before the float shot under (about a metre from where it had taken the first time) but it was not to be caught. It pulled hard for about ten seconds before coming free. I decided that it must be something to do with the fish - I've met these 'Houdini' pike before - and the way it gripped the bait. It certainly felt as though it was hooked both times but presumably it was just clamped down on it's meal!

The second fish.

After a good battle it's ready to land.


It picked up a bit of root and rolled on the line during the battle..

Well hooked.

The semicircle hook seems to have functioned.

....and again.

The next fish was hooked almost identically.