Sunday, 11 December 2011

A bag of prime winter roach

A quick check to see how the river was faring on the EA website revealed a bit of an issue - it was 7m up and rising, near record height. I briefly considered hunting down some backwater, but thought better of it! Ah well, a trip to a local stillwater was in order, with quality roach the target. Despite all the rain, the day dawned very cold, and this meant match tactics. I scaled right down to a 1lb 8oz bottom, size 22 spade hook and used caster as bait. The float was shotted down to a pin prick, and loose feed kept to a minimum. Some of the loose feed was being eaten by a friend....

By shotting the float down, it was possible to hit the tiny indications i was getting, and most resulted in roach that averaged 6oz or so, with the best probably hitting 12oz. It was enjoyable fishing, but i couldn't cope for more than a few hours with the biting wind. On a seperate note, i was trialling out my new drennan floatmaster, 13ft to 15ft combo - what a cracking piece of kit. Easily deals with fine line, and the 'jag-jag' of a roach run is no longer a problem. I also hit into something bigger on it, probably a carp, which was ultimately lost, but the rod does have some back-bone as well. Anyway, my bag of roach...

A little trick when you have a pint of maggots - riddle them twice a day to seperate the casters. Put these casters in a small amount of water to stop them taking on air (alternatively, seal them in a bag tightly). The day before fishing, dry them off and bag them up. You will find all are sinkers, and perfect for loosefeed.

On the next day i decided to try the river out, which was starting to fine down, but stil a couple of foot up with plenty of colour. Chub and Barbel were the intended species, but despite flogging away in various choice swims, i failed to catch any. The temperatures dropped to -4C the night before, which probably didn't help.

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