Catch fish with Mike Ladle.

Catch Fish with
Mike Ladle


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Coarse Fishing 20 July 2002

When I went over to the Stour in mid July I found the river much lower than I expected. The broad weir which is usually covered with white water over its full width, was reduced to a trickle. Only a few metres next to my fishing position was actually flowing. Big patches of pondweed were reaching the surface and slimy green algae decorated all the slacks and backwaters.

I was using the little five piece spinning rod (I know! I said it was too soft for spinning a few weeks back but it is light and easy to use) and a fixed spool reel loaded with six -pound (2.5kg) Fireline braid. The trace (for the sake of pike) was 7kg wire. I clipped on a little floating plug, painted vaguely like a minnow with a greenish back and gold sides, and I began to cast. I knew from past experience that the perch were likely to be right under the white water at the lip of the weir so I cast along the sill and drew my lure back parallel to it. The plug had only gone a couple of metres when the tell tale tugging showed the presence of a 'customer'. I reeled it in, unhooked and returned it. After the tenth perch (all 100 - 200g in weight) I decided to try further downstream.

At the tail of the weir pool I cast up and across and retrieved the plug across the shallow glassy flow. On the third cast there was a sharp take and I hooked a chub af about 750g. It was a lovely fish and I took a picture before returning it. Wading downstream in mid-river I flicked the lure towards the banks on either side. One pool produced several perch, a bit bigger than the ones in the weir pool and a pike grabbed the plug and thrashed before coming off (I MUST use the carp rod!).

The water was a bit deeper now so I changed to a number 2 Mepps to get down a bit. Immediately I hooked the best Perch of the day (600g). It was now too deep to wade any further so I put the plug back on and made my way upstream to the weir pool. A couple of jacks took the plug and were landed and after a few more small perch from the sill of the weir I packed in. Two and a half hours. Nothing big seen or caught but altogether a very satisfying session.

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July 20 2002

The first (and smallest) perch.

The J7 floater is much bigger than any minnow but even the smallest perch attack it with gusto.

Another small perch.

My 'minnow' plug was bright orange until I painted it.

A nice chub.

This one took the plug as I wound it back across the pool in half-a-metre of water.

Wading sdownstream I found some bigger perch.

This one 'bow-waved' after the plug from the bank.

I could fish the little Mepps deeper than the lightweight plug.

My best perch of the session caught on the Mepps.

One of the jack pike which took the plug.

Even little pike give a spirited fight on light gear.