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).

20 February 2006.

Not much fishing.

It's been one of those weeks. Firstly a series of things to do at home then visits to Bournemouth, London, Littlehampton and Salisbury then some really rotten (if much needed) wet weather - all of which curtailed the fishing and the web page production. I did manage one day at the river almost a week ago. It was sunny, cold and clear and the water was very low after the long dry spell. I decided to try a Mepps in the hope of catching a decent perch. I used a size 3 thinking (but not convinced) that it might avoid the smallest fish if there were any about.

As it turned out the perch were on strike and I never saw a single stripe or red fin all afternoon. However, it occurred to me that the braided line has changed things for the better when it comes to using fast spinning lures such as Mepps. In years gone by I would have used a couple of swivels, one at the head of the lure and another up the trace. Even then there would have been a fair chance of the Nylon monofilament springing into a nasty tangle due to line twist. Nowadays, using my nice soft braid, line twist seems to be a thing of the past. At least it no longer causes problems. Of course I had a single small swivel in the set up in order to attach the short wire anti-pike trace but I think that even this was superfluous. I'm sure that the braid accumulates lots of twists in the course of fishing but it does not result in tangles. Amazing!

Anyway, to return to the fishing. I'd not been at it for more than five minutes when I had a firm pull and hooked a fish. The sun was bright and due to reflections off the water it was while before I got a view of my catch - the brain was thinking 'big perch' but when it hove into view it turned out to be a smallish pike (I should have guessed I suppose). I plodded on downstream and it must have been almost a kilometre before I had another bite - a second pike - it looked as if the perch were on strike (or technically 'off strike' I suppose).

A while later I came to a fast shallow stretch. There was a small slack behind a tree on the far bank that looked like a possible spot for a perch or pike. I flicked the Mepps up and across and began to retrieve. The current dragged my line round and as the lure swept into the fast water I felt a yank - missed it! I tried again and this time saw a big silver flash in mid-river - missed again! Third cast I hooked a fish which splashed about as I wound in - an out of season trout. I released it and decided that this was probably a good spot to try when the trout fishing starts in April there's always something to be learned even on a poor day.

Not a perch.

I shouldn't be disappointed really.

Well hooked.

Pike tend to engulf small lures but this one was easily released.


Only a tiddler and out of season but the one I missed was much bigger.  I'll be trying agin in April.