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).

Not catching chub.

Enthused by my recent perch fishing I revisited the same stretch of river, a couple of times, to try and catch a chub. Instead of using minnows for bait this time I decided to spin a small, jointed Rapala. On the first trip I simply walked down the whole reach to see how the conditions might have changed form my last visit (over a year ago). For sure there was a lot more weed growth than I have seen for years and water levels were low. At the first place I intended to fish, even though it was before sunrise, I discovered that someone had arrived before me and was already paddling in the edge and fishing. I slipped past quietly and continued on downstream.

The next fishable spot was really shallow and clear and produced nothing but a single pluck which was, I assumed, a tiny perch. A further hundred metres or so down was a cattle drink. I flicked the lure upstream and watched as it wriggled back towards me. It was followed all the way by a chub of two or three pounds but it did not attack the lure and probably saw me because it didn't appear when I tried again. Still - encouraging! I plodded on downstream finding very few spots that were fishable. The final worthwhile place was another cattle drink sloping quickly to water of about a metre in depth. In the past this spot has produced numbers of large chub for me, by wading out a little way and casting upstream along the near bank. Again dense weed beds prevented me from spinning so, after a couple of casts into the only open water, I decided to try under the overhanging trees which lined the, nearside, downstream bank. The flow was fairly swift so, rather than casting and risking a tangle in the weed, I simply dropped the little plug on the surface and allowed it to drift on down under the trees. after it had gone about ten metres or so I closed the bale and began a slow retrieve. I could feel the vibration of the little lure in the current. Suddenly it stopped and the rod bent round as a decent fish took. My heart said "big chub" but within seconds line was ripped off the spool and, slightly disappointed, my head said that it was too lively and must be a pike. Of course, after a fast run the fish plunged into the weeds and I spent minutes (it seemed like longer) pulling and tuggung to extract it. Eventually I played it back into open water, took a couple of pictures and released it. It would have been a BIG chub if it wasn't a pike. On my walk back up I tried the spot where I'd seen the chub but it did not reappear.

The pike which I hoped might be a chub, still a bit lively.


Now it's quiet and ready to be set free.


A couple of days later I decided to try again. This time I got out of bed earlier, just in case I might be 'beaten-to-it' by another angler. No need to worry, I was there first and had the big, wide pool to myself when I started. It was still pretty gloomy as I made my first cast with the Rapala. It wasn't long before I had a bite but after a couple of kicks the fish came unstuck - certainly a perch. The identity of the lost fish was confirmed when the next bite produced a small perch. I took its picture before putting it back.

The little perch that started off my session.


A few more casts fanned out across the pool and I was in again. This was a much more lively customer and proved to be a pike of perhaps four or five pounds. I beached the fish, released it and continued fishing. Then I nearly jumped out of my skin when a voice in my ear said "Hello Mike!" It was the chap who'd beaten me to it the other morning - an old aquaintance and an excellent angler. We had a quick chat and decided that there was room for us both to fish. He settled to casting a small boily for chub twenty metres upstream of where I was wading across.

In the foillowing half-hour I had another pike, slightly bigger than the first one, then a third which was only about three pounds. As I was playing my third pike I saw my pal's rod bent into a chub which he netted and released.

No monster but quite a nice looking pike and in good condition.


A closer view of the lure in the jaw of the pike.


I decided that it was time for me to go and walked up to say goodbye to my pal. We exchanged thoughts about the state of the fishing - sea, river and lake (he's a real all-rounder). As we chatted he struck into another chub which was only a couple of pounds or so and he showed me the neat system that he uses for fishing with his boilies. I had to admit that I've never used one myself (what an admission) but if and when I try it I shall copy his tactic).

My second pike - a bit bigger than the first one.


A chub, taken on a boilie, comes to my mate's net.


He has it.


All in all it was a very enjoyable half-hour's fishing and I went home for my breakfast well satisfied with the results.

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 -