Select Page

The Angler Afloat Ladram meet is now in its sixth year and sums up the UK Kayak Fishing scene. Essentially kayak anglers, their families and friends take over a holiday park in Devon for a weekend social. The site is in Ladram Bay which offers a picturesque launch into a sheltered cove and fantastic paddling and fishing along the surrounding coast.

It is more or less the end of season social and a great chance to catch up with some of the old hands of the sport, meet new guys who have yet to launch and reflect on the last year’s events whilst making plans for the next year as well. There is always a surplus of kayaks on hand so wives, children and random passers-by can have a go in a safe friendly environment.

Myself and my wife arrived on Friday and it wasn’t long before I was on the water. I had heard of red mullet being caught here so that was my target for the weekend and would be a new species for me. Fishing very light ledgering gear with worm baits I was soon bringing in a variety of wrasse and dogfish and eventually I had my first ever red mullet. A beautiful little fish, that used to be a rare visitor to the UK but seems to be becoming more common. I actually had another soon afterwards so ended the day a content angler.

After a very late Friday night I spent Saturday morning drifting the reef catching pollack and wrasse, I had a live bait mackerel drifting behind me which resulted in one run from a good bass which I got to the side of the yak before he decided to spit the bait right back at me.

The afternoon I launched with my wife and we paddled along the coastline amongst the towering stacks exploring the scenery towards Sidmouth.

In the evening at the bar it became clear that the fishing had been spectacular through the day. Not only were good bass caught, along with conger, ray and the usual reef species but some rarities had come out including trigger fish and john dory. I started the evening content with my mullet, but ended it jealous of what I had missed.

After another late night which saw money being raised for Heroes on the Water I spent Sunday morning again playing around on the reef catching the smaller species whilst hoping for a big one. A few of the guys fished into the night on Sunday catching conger eel to 30lb. We could see their lights from the window of the bar but I felt no inclination to join them.

Monday morning I again spent a few hours on the water playing with the lrf gear and catching a variety of species all of which felt like monsters when they hit the jig on a 1-5g rod with 4lb braid.

Kayak fishing in the UK is the only aspect of fishing I know where events like this happen. People come together from all over the country just to share their love of the sport no matter what brand they paddle, what team they fish with or whether they have been doing it for ten years or ten days. Everyone is welcoming and more than happy to share their knowledge, their experience and their equipment. Kayaks are lent freely; if you don’t have something with you people are rushing to lend it.

I know I am lucky to be part of this great activity and am looking forward to doing it all over again next year.