Catch fish with Mike Ladle.

Catch Fish with
Mike Ladle


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4 November 2003.

Back to the river.

After my success with the sea trout and bass last week (see Tack-tics 61-64) I decided to go over to the River Stour for a spot of plugging. It was early afternoon when I arrived and on walking to the river I discovered a chap pole fishing in the spot where I had hoped to tempt a few perch. There was no point disturbing him so I walked downstream to the head of a very shallow stretch. My gear was armed with the same J11F Rapala that had recently produced my sea trout and I was hoping for a decent chub or perch.

As I waded down the gravelly shallows I had one or two casts into slightly deeper holes under the bank with no signs of life. The river was gin clear and as low as I've ever seen it so I did not really know what to expect. After paddling for about 20 metres I came to a spot where the water deepened into a pool and just at the head of the pool it swept under some overhanging tree roots. I flicked the plug into the deep, swift flow and as I tightened up a fish was on. Straight away I knew it was a trout as it cartwheeled and thrashed about on the surface. Of course the fish was out of season so I beached it took a picture and released it - well over three pounds and in nice nick.

Shortly afterwards in a slow stretch underneath some trees I hooked a decent fish which flapped a few times before coming off - a perch I am sure. Then the lure got snagged in some dead bulrush stems and as I tried to jerk it free a fish swirled just beside it. It actually looked as though something had tried to grab the snagged lure so I cast again to the same place and was instantly into a pike (only a jack) which I photographed, landed and unhooked.

Shortly afterwards I had another trout of about two pounds and then a smaller one of a pound or so. Too many trout! so I decided to go elsewhere and fish. The next spot proved to be almost fishless (at any rate biteless) until I reached the top of a shallow stretch and cast into a large pool. Second cast I saw a bow wave following the lure and next cast it took - another jack pike duly landed and released. Then I went home for my tea.

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November 4th 2003

My last sea trout of the season (returned as usual).

This nice female fish again took the J11.

The first Stour trout.

Out of season now but a lovely fish.

The first jack.

This one slashed at the snagged lure and took it next cast.

Another out of season trout.

The size of lure seems almost irrelevant to these fish.