Catch fish with Mike Ladle.

Catch Fish with
Mike Ladle


Information Page

Freshwater Fishing

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 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. As you see I also add the odd piece from my friends and correspondents if I've not been doing much. 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).

A spot more piking.

Another spell of milder (for December) weather, tempted me out of the house for a session after pike. Again I tried to catch a bait or two and failed, so the circle hook was baited with a large, lip-hooked sardine intended for bass. I simply left the float, a couple of wine-bottle corks, on the line and tried to give the bait a semblance of life by twitching the line every few seconds.

I plonked the bait in at the head of a deeper (2m?) slow flowing section and allowed it to drift downstream from where I stood. I suppose that it had been travelling for a minute or so when the float went under quite slowly. Now, the occasional eddy will cause the float to duck under for a short while so I waited, but the corks simply continued in their downward progress - a pike! I allowed the line to tighten and watched as the rod bent over to the weight of a decent fish. Line began to stream off against the resistance of my tightly set clutch and then, suddenly, the corks resurfaced, it wasn't hooked. I waited for a few seconds to see what would happen and away went the float again. Almost the same scenario took place. Tighten the line, feel the fish then - nothing on! I wound in to check the state of the bait; a bit lacerated but still OK so I lobbed it back to where I'd last seen it and within seconds it shot under for the third time. This time I waited a bit longer - perhaps twenty seconds in total. I tightened and again I was in, this time the fish stayed on. As I played it I was a little apprehensive about the possibility of the fish being deeply hooked but there was no need to worry. When, eventually, the pike surfaced I could clearly see the large circle hook neatly stuck in the upper jaw. A while longer and I had it in the net and slid it ashore for a picture. No monster but a good pike in the middle-teens of pounds.

The 'Houdini' pike on the bank with the float (corks) still on the line..


A closer view of the hooking position, why not the first two times?


A selfie as I prepare to return my catch.


After catching the fish I decided that the splashing and crashing would probably have disturbed any other pike in the immediate vicinity so, I trudged up to the bridge and down the opposite bank until I reached the same pool from which I had the pike. It looked even better on the new stretch of bank with lots of trailing grasses providing shade. I hooked on my other sardine (I only take a couple for a short session) and lowered it under the rod tip. The float never settled, it simply went under and continued going down - another fish. I waited until I felt the pike stop and turn the bait, drew the line taut and I was in again. This one was well hooked and once more put up a spirited show before I was able to net it and take its picture. That was that, two casts, two pike and no more baits. I suppose I could have continued with a lure but I was happy with my catch so I packed in and went home to do some gardening.

My second pike, a double but only just.


The obligatory selfie..


If you have any comments or questions about fish, methods, tactics or 'what have you!' get in touch with me by sending an E-MAIL to -