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).

River plugging.

I enjoyed my recent spinning for chub on the river so much that I had another go. This time I started off with the J11 which fishes only a foot or so under the surface and seems to tempt almost everything. In fact when I got to the river I found that the spot I'd intended going to was already occupied so I trudged on downstream. I had a couple of small perch from the first shallows that I came to then at the next accessible spot two small chub, of perhaps a pound or so, chased the lure downstream but didn't take. The banks are pretty overgrown so there aren't too many places to fish. If possible I try to wade which allows me to cover more water and makes it easier to land and unhook fish without struggling down vertical banks, through brambles and nettles. My third spot was quite interesting. Basically the clean gravel bed was covered by a couple of feet of briskly flowing, gin clear water but a small gravel bar separated a deeper, slower flowing pool near the far bank. I decided to flick the plug across the bar into the pool and straight away there was a big bulge as a fish followed it back - promising! On the next two casts the same thing happened with the plug beaching itself before the follower could get hold of it. Next time I cast a bit further and the lure dropped right in by the bank. It was grabbed within seconds and I played a nice chub out of the pool and into the faster flow where I stood.

After taking a picture and releasing the fish I tried again but the disturbance had scared any other fish that were there so I turned and cast upstream towards the overhanging trees. First chuck I had a small perch then the next cast to the same spot I saw a big chub following the plug down towards me. It had a nip at the plug but wasn't hooked. In fact careful observation with my polaroids showed that there was a shoal of really large chub tucked in under the trees. Two or three times they followed but did not take. Then they tired of the game and moved off into the shelter of a fallen willow where I couldn't get at them. I'll bear it in mind for another time.

On the next cast I hooked and landed a small trout. Then I turned and lobbed the plug downstream with a long cast. As it came back past a big clump of reeds there was a yank on the line and a huge boil as a fish took the lure. This was much more active than the chub and proved to be a decent pike. Eventually I was able to beach it in the shallows and unhook it using my pliers. Thank heavens for knottable wire. This was followed by several more perch - all in all a good session but there was more to come.

On my way back upstream I managed to catch a chub from the shallows where I had a follower earlier. Then, in the pool where the other anglers had been on my arrival, I had three pike (none as big as the first one) and a couple more perch. considering that it was the middle of a bright sunny day with the river at rock bottom levels I was well pleased with my catch for a couple of hours. Oh, and while I was wading I saw a group of three good barbel on a gravel run. Must give them a try some time (I keep saying that but the lure fishing and livebaiting always seem to get the upper hand).

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 -


This is the spot where I had several follows and hooked the first chub.

Yer 'tis!.

Here's the chub after I led it out of the pool into the gravel run.

Big chub spot.

This is where the big chub were lurking but I only caught a perch.


No monster but better than nothing I suppose.

Small trout.

This one was in the shallows that I'd already waded through.

Decent pike.

Taken on a long, downstream cast.

Second chub.

This was probably a fish that had followed earlier in the session.

Tricky pike.

One of my later fish hooked from a high bank under a tree.

Smaller lure.

To finish off I switched to a small Rapala and caught more small perch.