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 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. 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).

10 February 2006.

Fishing pals.

The last time I fished with both my pals Steve Pitts and Steve Hill was a couple of years ago in Tobago. This time it was a bit different - colder for a start. We'd arranged to have a day's piking on my local river. In fact the story started a couple of weeks ago when we had organised a similar trip. On that occasion Steve Hill took ill and did not turn up so the other Steve and me had to catch the pike without him. This time he was not to be put off and they both turned up at about eleven o'clock having driven down from Bristol. After a quick cuppa to revive them we were off to the river. Conditions looked good - low and clear - and it did not take long to catch a few baits. It was cold - but not too cold - and we were really optimistic.

We started off using three different tactics. Steve Pitts was using a fly (I thought it looked more like a feather duster than a pike lure), the other Steve put on a live bait and I wobbled a dead bait. It was only a few minutes before I had a take over a shallow mud bank. The fish was fairly small (five or six pounds) but it was encouraging to get one so soon. After that it was fairly slow. Despite fishing a couple of nice pools none of us had a sniff for perhaps twenty minutes. By now both Steves were using live baits. It's hard tp remember the exact sequence of events but we landed two or three modest fish. The best was perhaps a nine pounder that took my dead bait as I dangled it right under the hanging branches of a willow tree.

We ate our lunch on the move and after walking a mile or so down river and covering all the best looking spots we decided to try another stretch for the last hour or so. Before we returned to the car to make our short trip to the other reach we decided to try one last pool. Pittsy picked up his fly rod again but Steve Hill remained faithful to the live bait. He was right! Only minutes after he had cast out the float slowly submerged. At first it looked as if the bait was dragging it under but it stayed down and as he tightened it was clear that it was a decent pike. After a few seconds of play the fish let go so Steve dropped his bait in again. Sure enough it was soon taken and this time there was no mistake - the circle hook was nicely in the edge of the mouth. After a fairly lively struggle Steve landed a beautiful fifteen pounder.

We packed in and moved to the other stretch where we landed two more pike making our total eight fish for the day. Very satisfying.

Steve Pitts

Steve's first fish of the session heaves the rod round.


Still plunging away.


Steve slides his fish ashore.

Steve Hill's turn.

Another bending rod - how big will it be?.

Fifteen pounds of wonderful pike.

A cracking fish to top our day's catch.