This season I have set out my stall to catch some specimen Roach, the sort of size that I caught last season and maybe catch a larger one than 2lb 7oz, even though it was a very large Roach and a fish of a lifetime for many a Roach angler up and down the country I am still chasing a new personal best Redfin, my quest may take me around the country to some of the most prestigious fisheries in search of large Roach, venues like, the Hampshire Avon, the Dorset Stour, Warks Avon, Itchen and anywhere else I can find them, I'd prefer to catch my holy grail on a river I think for me it would be more of a challenge although I'm not saying that lake big Roach aren't easy, just wild large Roach for me, gives me the biggest kicks.
On Wednesday I headed off out in search of Roach, the conditions were ok but not ideal for big Roach but not at work for this week it was on the agenda, I donned my waders and travelled fairly light and a keepnet just in case I got amongst a shoal, it took 3 hours for me to get a bite, it was very tough going, I got my first take in I think my fifth swim, plenty of bait went out in the feeder to stimulate the Roach to feed it took a long time to get them feeding but when I got my first take my cane rod bounced a couple of times and then the rod tip pulled round as the fish picked up the bait and headed off downstream with my offering, a typical Roach bite, so when the fish broke the surface I wasn't surprised to see a red dorsal fin break the water, I reached for the net and gladly slipped it in.
My first of the session and I weighed it before going in the keepnet, 1 lb 2 oz another pound plus redfin, although I haven't had a two pounder yet the stamp of fish is astounding, but I had plenty of time to reflect on the seasons targets because the bites were so few and far between, it was roughly a bite every 40minutes, but when the next one came the rod tip bounced and slammed around again, another typical Roach bite, after a couple minutes I had number two in the net and they were getting larger, the second one went 1 lb 7 oz, I guessed about a pound and half as it approached the net so I was almost spot on, again I had to wait for nearly an hour.
Then another bite, which was quite violent more so than the first two, at first I thought it was a Chub, but very quickly discovered it was another Roach, much larger than the others, it darted through the weed and straight towards me across the river, about three minutes it took me to get it close to the net when the unthinkable happened and the hook pulled about 3 ft from the net, a fish that was extremely close to 2lbs if not, a large Roach and losing them under such circumstances is always a difficult pill to swallow. Even though I landed two good Roach over a pound I packed up and headed for home feeling quite gutted, such a shame to lose one so close to the net, it would have been a great finale to what was an incredibly difficult day and patience was definitely needed.
But as with all specimen hunting, you have your lucky moments and sometimes your blessed with bad luck, today a mixture of both.