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).

07 August 2005.

A fish at last!

You'll see from my latest 'Saltwater' piece that I'd been having a hard time catching fish last week. To restore my confidence (and my sanity) I decided to have a go for pike and/or sea trout in my local river. Now to be fair conditions were not ideal. It was the middle of a hot, sunny afternoon and the river was very low (aren't they all). I considered which lure to use and settled on my old standby a J11F Rapala. Perhaps it's not the best sea trout or pike lure in the world but over the years I've caught plenty of decent fish on J11s. I knew that there would be lots of weed growth and often the water would be too shallow for anything that dived deeper. I wanted to fish over the weed beds even in the shallow riffles as well as having a chance to stir a fish from the deeper pools. Anyway, rightly or wrongly that was my decision.

I began by working my way upstream casting up, down and across in each fishable spot and retrieving appropriately to keep the lure working and weedfree. After about ten minutes I flicked the plug to the far bank in a shallow spot with masses of Ranunculus. At the first turn of the reel there was a mighty crash and a splash and I found myself playing a pike. I bullied it through the weeds and eventually realised that, with the water so low, I was going to have difficulty landing it (no net). I drew the pike to the bank and lay on the bank (a bit unstable and precarious) to try and reach the fish. With a stretch I was just able to get the forceps to the hooks and shake the fish off - what a relief!

Shortly afterwards a fish (it must have been a trout) bow-waved after the lure as I reeled it through the shallow, weedy tail of a pool. It would not take. Half-an-hour later I was fishing through a deep, dark pool when there was a flash of green and silver and I was into a slightly smaller pike. This one I landed and unhooked without much trouble. Then a bit further on I felt a pluck as the lure traversed two metres of water in mid-river, I glimpsed the shadowy silvery shape of a salmon as the fish turned but it would not come again. As I was about to pack in a small pike slashed at the lure but was not hooked. All in all a pleasant afternoon and a good confidence booster.

A fish!.

A spirited pike well hooked.

Ready to unhook.

It was a bit of a nightmare stretching down over the bank to release the fish..

The second pike.

This one wasn't quite as big.

On the bank.

With the fish laying on the soft grass it was easier to get the hook out.  My four-piece rod behaved well.