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).

Plugging for chub.

Having got my hand in with the little balsa bodied J7 Rapala by fishing for seatrout I felt fairly confident about trying for chub. Of course the best spots for finding decent chub are often in tiny bankside slacks under the shade of overhanging trees so casting into the right spot is vital. I use the same little Teklon Concept spinning rod and Mitchell Mag Pro reel loaded with 20lb braid for both sorts of fishing. Due to the presence of pike a short, 20lb, wire trace is essential to avoid having lures bitten off.

I arrived at the river at about 14:00hr and, stupidly as it turned out, decided to start by using a Mepps to see if there were any perch in the depths of the weirpool. There weren't or at least there were none that showed an interest in my lure. I persisted for ten minutes and with every cast I let the spinner sink a little deeper before I began the retrieve. Eventually I got what I deserved when the lure snagged on some immovable object in the depths. After a tug of war I lost the spinner and its little wire trace. After my poor start I tied on a new trace and reverted to the little black and silver Rapala. I moved to the tail of the weirpool and began to fan the casts out to cover the water. It's astonishing how far you can chuck a tiny lightweight plug, particularly with a slight breeze behind you. There was no sign except for a follow from a small chub but about five minutes after I started I saw a fish rise in the middle of the pool. On the next cast the plug plopped in a couple of metres beyond where I'd seen the rise. After three turns of the handle there was a heavy pull which took a bit of line then it had gone. Clearly a decent chub had taken the lure and unusually it failed to hook itself.

After a few more fruitless casts I waded on downstream fishing all the likely spots until the water was too deep for my chesties. To be honest it was quite pleasant paddling round, as it had turned into rather a warm, muggy afternoon. Anyway, there were no more bites from anything so I plodged back up to where I'd started and, reluctantly, clambered out to walk down the field to the next fishable spot. On my bank it was very shallow and gravelly but opposite was an overhanging willow tree with a little clear patch just upstream. I swung the rod and the plug arced across towards the gap in the bushes and dropped smack in the middle of the open water. Within a few turns the plug would encounter thick weed so I just gave it a twitch and as I did so there was a sharp take which again I missed. I reeled in and examined the hooks - they were still razor sharp so it was just bad luck. I felt that there was every chance of another bite if I could manage a second decent cast. Sure enough it went straight and true falling in the gap but a bit nearer to where I stood - perfect! I twitched the rod and wallop I was into a heavy fish. Unfortunately as I raised the rod I wrapped the line around a hanging twig of a willow tree some distance above my head. I moved and tried pulling to free the line but it was firmly wrapped. However, the fish was still attached and the line was running round the twig so I was able to reel in. Eventually the chub, a nice one, was close enough for me to take the line hanging from the tree in my free hand. I flicked the bale arm open and gently handlined the fish into the shallow water where I could pick it up. Laying down the rod I extracted my camera and took a couple of pictures before returning the chub to the river. After a few seconds it swam off strongly. Now it was a simple matter to pull the offending twig down to where I could reach it and untangle the line. Whew!

I looked at my watch. Nearly time to go. Just long enough to walk down to the streamy section downstream and have a quick dabble. I climbed over the fence and paddled into the cattle drink so I could fish the faster flowing water. The first cast - upstream- was followed by a couple of chublets, then they lost interest. I decided to try the deep riffle under the near bank, no room to cast so I dropped the plug into the run and let it drift down. I closed the bale arm and I could feel the lure vibrating as I inched it back upstream. A fierce yank was followed by a brownie of about three pounds exploding from the water twice and then coming unstuck. Ah well, never mind Mike, one decent fish in an hour and a bit should be enough for anyone. It would have been nice to have caught the others though.

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 -

Fifty centimetres long and in good nick so over five-and-a-half pounds.


A selfie that worked for a change.