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).

02 March 2009.

A funny afternoon's fishing.

After the mass invasion of the river by anglers at the weekend my next session was much quieter. Ben rang to say that he had a day off work and both our wives were gainfully occupied so we decided to go for an afternoon's piking. The weather was perfect - mild and overcast. The river was falling back to a good level for fishing and all seemed to be right with the world. Ben was float fishing with a cork and a circle hook so, just to be different, I'd rigged a simple paternoster. the hook was the same 4/0 light circle on a knottable wire trace. At the end of the other arm of monofilament was a half ounce weight attached by means of a loop (effective and dead easy to change). Of course this is a less mobile set up than the float gear but it enables me to keep the bait exactly where I want it (where I think that the pike might be).

The first pool that we fished looked perfect but the pike failed to cooperate - not a sniff. Could it be 'one of those days?' We moved on - nothing doing in the next three pools, what a downer! Undaunted we pressed on, by now we'd probably covered a mile of water and been fishing for an hour. My only thought was that perhaps the fish had been feeding so well in the past couple of days that they just weren't hungry. Well you have to find an excuse don't you?

At the next spot success! Ben eventually persuaded his bait to go where he wanted it to be and it was grabbed up by a reasonable fish. Phew! What a relief! By now our time was running out but at least we knew that some fish were feeding. We decided to trudge on down another half-mile before the long walk back to the car. We arrived at a long narrow slack alongside a reedy stretch of bank and proceeded to leapfrog each other along. I felt a slight knock and decided that it was nothing but then, looking down into the water at my feet, I saw the head of a decent pike which had obviously snapped up my bait and simply stopped dead. I tightened and all hell broke loose. The fish screamed away into the pool, wrapping itself in some reeds in the process. It rushed about taking loads of line in a series of runs and gradually freeing itself from the burden of vegetation. Eventually Ben reached down and lifted the fish out for me - we could see at once that it was a 'twenty'. In fact it weighed exactly ten kilogrammes (22lb) a beauty.

Now we only had time to fish one more spot before packing in. Within minutes Ben landed another nice pike on his float gear. An excellent finish to what had looked like a poor day.


One of Ben's pike tears off line from the reel.

Nice pike.

Ben's best of the afternoon.  Note the reeds and slack water behind him, where the fish was lurking.


A small fish on my simple paternoster gear.


Exactly 10kg (22lb) - just what the doctor ordered.

Back she goes!

A bit faster than I wanted but it's not easy to keep a grip on a writhing twenty pounder.