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).

12 December 2005.

Christmas is coming.

I haven't been fishing with Nigel for a long time. After returning from Belize I gave him a ring to see what had been happening on the local fishing front and it seemed it had been a bit quiet. Anyway, I asked if he fancied a spot of coarse/pike fishing the following afternoon and he jumped at the chance. The following morning when I got up the ground was white with frost - not auspicious. I was glad that we had decided to meet at about mid-day to give things a chance to warm up a bit.

I arrived about five minutes before Nigel and by the time he drove up I'd already had several nice dace. He took his float rod out of the car and immediately began where I'd left off catching dace after dace. After a while we decided to give the dace a rest and go piking - this was when I had the surprise. Nigel produced his pike rod and instead of the usual float it was adorned with a golden Christmas bauble. Apparently it was a reject from the tree and rather than waste it, he had turned it into a festive float.

We'd scarcely cast out our baits before I heard the word 'pike' and saw Nigel's rod well bent into a fish with the golden globe ducking and diving into the river behind it. After a bit of a scrap it was landed and returned, We fished on for a while with no result then it was announced that the fancy float had decided to fill up with water so it was replaced with a more normal version. In the next couple of hours we had four more pike (Nigel three, me one) all but one (the last) of a decent size and all nicely hooked in the corner of the mouth. The last fish, a small jack, was not even hooked but refused to let go of the bait and was landed.

After my last freshwater web page I had a query about whether my 'semi-circle' pike were foul hooked (the hook looked as if it was outside the mouth). I thought not but promised to look next time out. In fact, as I suspected, the hook was simply in the soft tissue under the maxilla (upper lip) of the fish and had pulled up behind it making it look as if it was above the mouth - so no problem there.

Dace fishing.

Nigel trotting a float for dace.

A decent fish.

Dace are smashing little fish.

The seasonal pike.

Our first pike plunges away followed by its bauble.


As it slides ashore there's a better view of the festive float.

Another pike.

Nigel bends into his second pike.  This one let go first time but was landed when it took again.


The fish is ready to be unhooked and returned.