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).

Chub in the sun.

The average size of the chub I've been catching on plugs this year has been pretty good. I haven't had many under about four pounds and although I don't often catch more than two or three in a session (I'm sure it would be possible to get more on bait) the sport is fast enough to keep me entertained. Anyway, I went out again the other day armed with the usual Teklon spinning rod, Nanofil, short wire trace and J9 floating Rapala (the little lure has caught its fair share of fish by now). It was a hot, sunny afternoon and I had to run the usual gauntlet of dog walkers, sun bathers and paddlers to get to the water. It's just a matter of 'grin and bear it' when someone's spaniel piles into the river just as you are about to cast. I generally just keep moving on until I find a quieter spot. To be honest I assume that the fish are pretty well used to the disturbance cause by large creatures plunging into the river and they seem to settle down pretty soon afterwards.

I tried the weir pool first, it's been pretty consistent but for once there was no joy so I waded on downstream casting into all the likely spots. There's not much water in the rivers now and in most places I was standing not more than ankle deep. After twenty minutes I still hadn't had a bite and apart from a small perch which followed the plug in I had not even seen a fish. Then I came to a nice gravel run. This spot is a favourite with dogs but for once I was there first. I stood in the shallow, flint-bedded area on the north bank and made a few short casts to 'get my range' then I pitched the plug to the far bank. It fell perfectly, just where I wanted behind a large overhanging bush. I tightened the line and a fish was on. For a chub it put up a fair show and it took me a minute or so to guide it over the mid-river weed bed and steer it towards me. I slipped the bag off one shoulder strap and extracted the camera with my right hand hand as I held the rod in the other. After a few pictures I unhooked the chub and watched it swim off. I always use my pliers to remove the hooks because, even though chub have nice soft lips, the trebles are razor sharp and if the fish kicks it can easily transfer them to your hand.

Well chuffed with my success I walked on downstream to a large cattle drink and again I waded out onto the shallows. casting upstream into slightly deeper water I had a good bite almost at once and found myself attached to what was probably another good chub. Unusually, just as I thought I had the fish beaten it came off - not a common occurrence. I cast up to the same spot, 'just in case', and as the lure passed over the spot where the fish had detached itself I had another bite but failed to hook it. I'd be amazed if it was the same fish that I had lost because chub don't do that sort of thing. Anyway, I fanned out my casts and after about three more I was into another fish. this one made the clutch give a bit of line and I wondered if it was a pike but no, I soon saw the big rounded dorsal fin waving above the surface - chub again, perhaps a little bigger than my first one. After the photographs it was time for me to trudge back up the bank and go home - a thoroughly sweaty business in chest waders and blazing sunshine but a very enjoyable session.

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 -

The spot.

The chub on its way in. The little red arrow shows where the fish took my plug.

First chub.

They really are in good nick at this time of the year.

Second chub.

Another beautiful fish again well hooked on the mid-body treble.