As the Autumn is upon us now and the predator season draws nearer any spare time will be used on trying to catch a double figure Barbel and a 2lb + Roach, two specimens of two species that are not easy to catch but I like a challenge and being out on the bank fishing is good enough for me but it adds a little more adventure to it and all things fishing, like water craft and using the knowledge I have of the venues to extract the best from them.
My most recent trip out was in search of latter, the Roach haven't been as forthcoming this season, for reasons unknown but I have managed over a dozen 1lb + Roach to an Ounce under two pounds, so the objective was to snare a Roach over that specimen mark, and the session started off very quickly with my second cast drawing a good solid tug on the 1.5oz quivertip, a typical Roach fight followed with the usual jagging on the rod tip as it fought in the current but with a short battle over the first Roach of the day was in the keepnet and at ( 1.6 ), it was of an average size here, amazing to say that a pound and a half Roach is of the usual stamp!.
My next four casts into the swim loaded with a feeder of white crumb presented me with another three Roach of ( 1.5, 1.8, 1.9 ), all of which were in perfect condition and taking on a paler colour as the rains are colouring up the water and so the sun isn't penetrating the water to change their flanks to that lovely golden colour they take on during the spring and summer months.
Unfortunately I must have just started fishing as they were finishing their feeding as I struggled to connect with the more timid bites I was receiving, some of which were still Roach knocks but they weren't as clear cut as they probably felt a bit more cautious but the majority of the bites I feel were Gudgeon and small Chub whittling the bait away, I had to wait nearly 90 minutes for my next opportunity and when it came I made no mistake, with a cracking Roach on the other end, I could tell it was larger due to the fight it seemed a lot stronger compared to the others and after a short while I had a large Roach in the net but I felt it was going to fall just short of the 2lb barrier and my thought's were confirmed as she went ( 1.13 ), a good fish all the same, an above average Roach.
The swim did produce one more Roach of ( 1.9 ), but that fish came nearly 2 hours after the 1 lbs 13 oz Roach, the swim still had the Roach in but I felt they were intimidated and they shut up shop, which was a shame but six and all over a pound and a quarter is good going I feel, maybe one more session for Roach now before the winter Piking starts, the session did however at the end turn a sour note when I lost my scales in the undergrowth, only bought the Salter Bracknell's a few weeks ago and already lost them, it took the sheen off a tough day but a successful one, I was in the end made to work for the Roach I caught but that seems to be usual with southern chalk stream Roach, they're never easy quarry.
My bag of Roach totalling 9 lb 1 oz, mostly perfect bars of silver.
Pick of the bunch at 1 lb 13 oz, a proper Roach.