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).

Happy New Year

03 January 2006.

The first fish of the New Year.

I met Nigel down by the millstream at twelve o'clock. It was an amazingly mild day for the time of year, a bit of cloud cover but essentially bright and sunny. We began by trotting maggots in the flow and it was only minutes before we were catching nice dace. After landing a number of fish we went down to the main river to try for pike.

Both of us were using similar gear. Our 'bass' spinning rods and reels with small floats hooks on short wire traces. The main difference was that I still had on a semi-circle hook while Nigel used a full circle. Our baits had scarcely been in the water fort ten seconds when my float shot under. I raised the rod and found myself attached to a nice pike. After a spirited battle Nigel did the honours with the net and I was able to return a fish of about twelve pounds.

Shortly afterwards and a little further upstream Nigel had atake from a smaller pike but it was not hooked and unusually, refused to have another go. I crossed over the river and after a while had another pike a bit smaller than the first - then it went quiet. We fished a couple of really pikey pools to no avail. Not a sniff of a pike. Then we moved down to the lowest pool and began to fish simultaneously. Nigel's float was the first to disappear and after a while I netted a near double for him. I returned to my own rod and within a couple of minutes the float submerged with a loud pop. The pike was nicely hooked and Nigel again helped with the net. I'd scarcely returned it when my pal had another bite and landed - the same pike that he had put back ten minutes earlier.

That was the last pike of the day. We spent half-an-hour trotting for grayling - nothing! I put on a plug and had a go for pike but apart from a couple of knocks (trout or salmon I think) there was nothing doing. Anyway, it was an excellent start to the year - lots of dace and four different pike landed. I can't wait to go again.

My first pike.

A cracking fish to start the year.

The same fish.

Nigel took a picture of me with the pike.


This on was beautifully hooked but my third fish was hooked inside the mouth.  I must go back to full circle hooks.

Nigel's first fish surges away

The 'spinning rod' really has a nice bend in it.


Yet another plunge.


Nigel had tried a bit of shrink tube on the trace to keep the hook in position but it really wasn't necessary.

A beautiful fish.

The pike are in wonderful condition.  This was the one he caught twice.