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).

Rain at last.

The weather has been hot and dry for weeks - not ideal for fishing the local rivers (or for plants in the garden). In fact all kinds of fishing have been on the slow side. This week the weather finally broke. Here in South Dorset we did not have the floods that have affected many northern counties but at least we had one day of persistent rain. I was reasonably optimistic that the rain would have some effect on my local, chalk-fed river but I had no idea whether enough rain had fallen in the catchment to colour the water. It hadn't. It is pretty well established that in other rivers which are more subject to spates (rapid rise and fall) seatrout and salmon often bite best a day or two after the rise in water levels. Anyway, the day following our rain I decided that it was worth having a look at the river.

At first sight there had been very little rise in water levels and there was no appreciable colour. However, it was a cooler, duller day than previously and I assumed that the fish might be able to detect the difference even if I couldn't. I started at the upstream end of the stretch using a 7cm, buoyant plug and within about ten minutes I had a bite, as the lure swung across the current. The fish splashed on the surface but it was soon apparent that it was a small pike. Not what I was after, but encouraging. Another ten or fifteen minutes and I had my second bite - this time a small perch, at least some fish seemed to be active. I came to the tail of a pool which often holds seatrout and after a couple of short casts I dropped the plug just above the riffle and close to the far bank. I held the rod and waited for the plug to swing round. As I started to retrieve I noticed a bow wave moving up towards me; I guessed that it was roughly where my lure would be. A pluck on the line confirmed that I was right but the fish wasn't hooked. I cast again to the same place and this time in the same spot there was a strong snatching bite and a boil but again no hooked fish. "Oh deary me!" I said. I knew that the chance of a third take was nil. I had a couple more casts but nothing happened.

The next stretch was a deep glide and roughly half way down it I had a good take and a seatrout of perhaps two pounds cartwheeled out of the water before coming unstuck. before I packed in I had two more, less enthusiastic, bites which I guessed were either small seatrout or brownies. Well, at least I'd had more action than on recent trips.

The following day I was joined by my pal Martyn for another go. This time we started on a different stretch I followed Martyn down. I usually fish the plug down and across but occasionally, because of bankside vegetation or the set of the current, it isn't possible to fish a spot in this way. At one of these places I made a long upstream cast and when the lure was about half-way back it was taken by a lively fish. I called to Martyn and he came back to do the honours with the landing net. A nice seatrout of two or three pounds. A bit later I had another slightly smaller then a little brown trout. Every fish was returned alive and well. Martyn missed one decent bite just before we had to pack in. All in all not a bad evening.

My first seatrout hooked on an upstream cast.


And the second one - not much smaller.


Nicely hooked on the little Rapala.


...and a small brown trout to finish off.


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