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).

11 October 2006.

Mixed bag.

Following an abortive trip to the coast, where I risked being washed off the ledge, a short afternoon session with a few breadcrusts again produced a couple of decent carp this week. To be honest for an hour or so it looked a bit grim. I dropped crusts into the margin in three or four spots and nothing was interested. Even the ubiquitous rudd were not knocking the crusts to bits with their usual gusto.

I decided to try a very shallow, weedy lake, hoping that the fairly weak sun had warmed the water up a bit. I dropped three or four lumps of crust in at my feet and after that walked round a large goat willow and put two or three more in a small patch of pondweed hemmed in on both sides by dense reeds. Then I went back to the first spot.

For about ten minutes nothing happened then I heard a loud slurp on the other side of the bush. I picked up the rod, baited the hook with a big lump of crust and crept round to the patch of pondweed. As I watched a resonable sized carp sidled off into the reeds so I swung the crust (about the size of a matchbox) into the middle of the floating leaves, laid the rod down and waited.

Within a couple of minutes the carp returned from its patrol of the reed bed and began to nose round the floating leaves. It sucked hard at my crust, pulled on the rod tip, removed the entire crust from the hook and swam away. I baited up again and this time made sure that the line was tight to the crust. Once more it was only minutes before the fish returned and this time it grabbed the crust and hooked itself. I played it and landed it (with some difficulty reaching over the reeds).

As I was taking a picture of the nice mirror I saw concentric ripples spreading from the other side of the willow. I returned the carp and went back to the other spot. I lowered the baited hook into the very margin by my feet and laid down the rod. Slurp! Slurp! Over went the tip and I was into another carp slightly bigger than the first and less evenly scaled.

I decided to try spinning and tied on the little L Minnow that I had used last time I went to the river. I was able to cast it a fair distance and by beginning to reel as soon as it hit the water I managed to avoid all the weeds. Nothing doing, although I found a huge fly agaric growing by the water's edge. I moved to the smallest and shallowest lake of the complex and second cast I saw a flash and found myself playing my first pike of the Autumn. A small, lean fish but nonetheless a pike. A nice way to round off the session.

That morning.

I'd been to the coast, found it dangerous to fish and come home fishless.

First carp.

a beautifully scaled mirror.

second carp.

Bigger but less attractive.

Fly agaric.

All it needed was an elf to sit on it (it could have supported quite a big one).


These lake pike are often skinny compared to the ones in the local river.