Catch fish with Mike Ladle.

Catch Fish with
Mike Ladle


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Coarse Fishing 25 November 2002

Taken on the flood.

Rain, rain, rain!. It seems to have done little else for months. Even here where much of the river water is filtered by massive layers of chalk the water colours up on floods. The first Autumn floods are by far the worst from this point of view because all the accumulated rubbish and sediment of the summer is washed out at this time together with the run off from farmland, quarries, roads and construction sites. As Winter progresses the amount of sediment disturbed by the floods decreases and, typically, as the water rises to its peak it is already well on the way to clearing. Experience shows that if the water is reasonably clear there is a fair chance of a pike.

With this in mind I went out last friday for an hour's spinning just to 'see what was about'. As I waded, thigh deep, across the field towards the river I noticed that there were a few people duck shooting so I decided to give them as much space as I could, for the benefit of my own sport as well as theirs. Two of them were already standing on the bank of the river just where I had intended fishing.

My lure was a big silver spoon with an outsize treble (I have flattened the barbs and sharpened the points). The large hook wags back and forth making the lure (I think) look very like a slowly swimming fish. There were very few places where it seemed worth having a cast and I moved along the flooded river banks looking for little slacks or pools sheltered from the main flow. Even the best looking places often swirled and boiled every few minutes as some slight shift in the pattern of the currents swept in an eddy from the main river channel.

After half an hour with no sign of a fish I noticed that the shooters had left the spot where I wanted to fish so I made my way slowly towards it. My favoured place was the end of a reedy oxbow and, sure enough, the water was calm and clear. I swung the spoon out to the edge of the reeds and as it hit the water I began to retrieve. The pike must have been lying by my bank because as the spoon reached my feet there was a great splash and a swirl. The rod tip yanked down and I was well into a decent fish.

Before long the fish was on the wet grass and the hook more or less fell out as I slackened the line. By now it was pretty gloomy and yet another heavy shower was well underway. I returned the fish and after a few words with the soaking wet shooters I packed in and went home. Definitely better than watching the telly!

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 -



November 25 2002

Dirty water.

At this time of year the flood water is often well on the way to clearing even before the floods reach their peak.

Water in the fields.

The river does not just form a still water lake but flows quite fast across the meadows

The oxbow.

This is where the pike was - it took the spoon right in by my bank.

My big spoon.

This is the same spoon that caught my three fish the other week.

The pike.

Perhaps ten pounds but not much of a picture - I even managed to get a shadow across its head despite the rain and gloom .  I was well pleased anyway.