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 on a hot afternoon.

Lilian had to go to work yesterday so I took the opportunity to visit the Dorset Stour. It was not too hot when I set out from the house at 12:30 but by the time I reached the river half-an-hour later the clouds had cleared and the sun was (once again) blazing down. As I parked the car an angler, holding a large (dry) landing net and carrying a spinning rod armed with a small green plug, was just returning from the river to go for his lunch. "Any joy?" I said and he replied that it had been biteless, very weedy and difficult to fish - not too encouraging. All the local rivers have very heavy weed growth this year so it was more or less what I expected.

I clipped a 9cm jointed Rapala floater (good for shallow weedy water) onto my anti-pike trace and set off to the pool where I'd caught the pike and perch mentioned in my last Freshwater page. There was a bit of scum and weed on the surface but it looked quite spinnable so I flicked the lure across the race in hopes of a perch. After a few biteless casts I pitched the lure downstream into slacker water and after the first turn of the handle I felt a pluck. Encouraging! Next cast to the same area produced another tentative bite so there were definitely fish there. The third cast had hardly hit the water when the plug was grabbed and there was a commotion on the surface. The fish was firmly hooked and after struggling for a short time it came in fairly easily - typical chub. It turned out to be a nice fish of about three pounds so I took a few pictures and slipped it back.

After a few more fruitless casts I moved to the tail of the pool and began casting up towards the spot where I'd hooked the chub. The only result was a small perch which wriggled off as I was fiddling with the camera. Time to move on downstream. The next fishable spot was from a high bank under the branches of a big oak tree. I pushed through the nettles (thank God for chest waders) and cast downstream and across. The plug was taken at once by another chub a bit smaller than the first one. As I wound in it kited across towards my own bank and wrapped itself in a patch of floating duckweed. two or three firm pulls slid it over the weed and again I took a couple of pictures before popping it back to swim away. No further bites so on to the next spot.

The next fishable place was a cattle drink with lots of clean gravel on my side of the river and solid weed opposite. I had a firm pull from an unseen fish (probably a trout) in the faster water downstream then apart from follows from a couple of mini-chub nothing. By now I was paddling and upstream of where I stood was a weed bed and just beyond it was a small slack a couple of metres across. I cast the plug up into the slack and it was taken as it fell by my third chub - the smallest so far. I reeled the fish down to where I stood and took a couple of pictures as it swam round my feet - excellent! All three fish had been hooked in their lips on the mid-body treble. My next and last spot was where I expected to catch a big chub (it's usually the haunt of five and six pounders) but there was nothing. Anyway, all things considered and since I was now feeling like 'boil in a bag' it was a pleasant couple of hours fishing.

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 first and largest of my chub.


Nicely hooked on the Rapala.


And another one hooked from a high stance - note the floating weed.


A nicely coloured fat little chub.


My last fish (and the toe of my waders) over the gravel where I was standing.