Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Another Fish of a Lifetime.


 Today's fishing was probably one of the hardest days I have experienced for a long time, the conditions were perfect for trotting, but the low dense fog that we had made visibility very poor, so trotting more than 20 yrds was extremely difficult. My target for the day was the Roach, the last few months the Pike have been top of my agenda but I felt today that a change would be good, I started my day before sunrise and when trotting for the day I tend to pack very light and when it is a trip out for Roach and Rudd I prefer to take a keepnet so I can isolate what I catch from going back into the shoal and spooking the remainder, so often in the winter, the redfins often are shoaled by now and if you do screw up a swim it could be a long walk before you find another pocket, so maintaining their confidence and eagerness to feed is paramount.

Light as Possible is best and key to searching out the fish on a very cold day.
At 10 in the morning, the fog was very thick.
Really thick.
 The first couple of swims that I found or managed to create didn't yield any of my target species but did throw up a Chub of around 3lb and a couple of Brown Trout, both wildies and two peas in a pod, the first a shade over 2lb, the other 1lb 15oz, I've never caught brownies off this river but you would expect them to be here as it is a perfect place for them to live, crystal clear water and plenty of natural food to go around.

Almost look like Sea Trout.
The Trout in the picture were only rested on the keep net for a quick snap, both were caught on consecutive casts and were kept in the landing net to revive before swiftly going back to whence they came. Game species, Barbel and Carp I believe shouldn't be put in keepnet's but thats my opinion.

 With Trout in the swim and thrashing it to a foam the Roach will drop down the runs and don't usually feed for a while after that, so it's always good to move on and come back later on in the day, further on up river after a few swims with no joy I found a lovely looking pool that tailed off with a lot of weed still present, I thought that maybe a Roach shoal might be hanging around between the runs of weed but again my trotted bread flake was firstly scoffed by a greedy Chub again about 3lb and then another Brown Trout, this one being quite a bit larger than the previous two, I reckon that she may have gone 3lbs, but I didn't weigh her, a quick photo and back into the pool, a sequence was starting to form here, so true to that sequence I drew a blank for a further 30 mins in what looked like my best chance of a Roach, a Roach of any size, not bothered how big or small, just something to build upon.


A pristine Trout and beautifully marked.
 Evening was fast approaching and now I was getting desperate to try and catch a redfin, I even tried to ledger bread on the creases in the vein hope they were static and bring the bait right to them, but it was so hard, it was definitely a tough day.....maybe they just weren't feeding, as dusk came and went I honestly thought that was my lot, I don't think that the temperature got above a couple of degree's at best, I stuck it out and tried everything I could and I was beaten.....well nearly, an experienced angler always finds a little something and perseverance is key to success, especially when the going gets tough.

 The light had failed almost completely when I found a nice little run that I had visited earlier and ran a bright topped stick float, just enough light for a little glimmer of hope and then it happened, the float stopped and hit the deck and I struck into what was a Roach, the jag-jag fight that is synonymous with the redfin's is such a tell-tale and it felt like a good one but I couldn't see anything and on 4lb line everything feels big so I waited until the fish succumbed and then lowered the net under the fish, when the Roach passed over the lip I realised I had just landed a really big Roach, the sort people dream of.

 I'll let the picture's say the rest, another fish of a lifetime.

Enough said, what a fantastic specimen and a wild river Roach too, 2lb 6oz.


Speechless.....I ran out of superlatives....what a finale.

 A true specimen and my first 2lb+ Roach this season, I have come close a couple of times but at 2lbs 6ozs it has eclipsed anything I've caught so far this season, just goes to show if you keep going what can happen, especially in the winter, angling isn't always straight forward and working for your catches is often the case. The session did though yield one more fish too, as I rested the lump in the net the float went back out for a couple of trots and the float vanished in the same manner as with the first fish, it seems they were waiting for darkness to fall before feeding, another good fight followed which lasted just as long as the other, was it another 2lber?, I soon got the answer and at first it wasn't clear as she looked nearly as big but lacked the thickness and the depth of the first but at 1lb 14oz it still was a big Roach and I was ecstatic with the addition, the night had well and truly settled in and the float was blending into the background therefore no longer able to carry on, what a fantastic end to a very tough day, well and truly worth the effort.

True perfection, a 1 lb 14 oz Roach. A great evening.
Top: 2.6, Bottom: 1.14.

 Winter Roach, they are there, just got to find them, the harder they are to find the more rewarding when you catch and catching Roach of this size speaks for itself.

14 comments:

  1. Nice roach James.
    Shame about those poxy chub ;p

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did finally catch a Roach and any size Roach would have been fine but to catch that specimen fish with a 1.14 to back it up was magnificent, someone's got to love Chub;)

      Delete
  2. Excellent stuff, James. You said you were going out for one that morning and you did it! In the end! Great looking fish too. Jeff

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When I say I'm going out to target Roach you never know what you are going to catch isn't that the beauty of angling?, the sense of mystery is what always prizes me out of bed at 4am in the depths of winter, where even people deemed insane aren't crazy enough to venture out but we do, speaks volumes for what nature has done to us. But grateful to my Dad for introducing me to a sport I believe I couldn't do without. Ps they are cracking fish, spent a couple of minutes sighing with relief, it was only lightly hooked, if only it made one last dash for the current I probably would have lost it, the angling gods were shining bright in the winter night.

      Delete
  3. What a corking roach well done.
    We have nothing like that round here and even if we did I wouldnt know where to start. Well jel as my daughter would say!

    Re trout in keepnets - I'm not 100% sure if you're allowed to keep trout in keepnets at all, you cant with certain game fish and laws may be regional, but you definately aren't allowed to put them in keepnets when they are out of season October - March (ish)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers Ian, I know I have some fantastic rivers within a couple of hours from London, very lucky but it's not all straight forward, fishing for big specimens never is easy.

      Ps the Trout: they weren't put in the keepnet, as I do not agree with trout, barbel or carp being put in them, caught the first one and left her to rest in the landing net to revive and caught the second on the next cast and then allowed the second to revive and then rested them briefly on top of the keep net as it was soft and didn't want to cause them any discomfort after a couple of quick snaps they both stormed off into the current whence they came, also they weren't caught deliberately and unfortunately ruined what actually looked like a good Roach swim but that's life...I appreciate the concern, I have long since been against the keep netting of certain species and I'm glad somebody else also shares the same stance.

      James.

      Also 2lbs + Roach don't come along often, got to enjoy as much as possible.

      Delete
  4. :-) no probs just didnt want you getting done by the EA who are big on that kind of thing. Cracking roach again ...... ohhh to live down souff

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have some great rivers down here but they can be very difficult to extract fish from, chalk streams are king, i just love the intimacy of them, but Pike fishing is a different story around here, not easy going, the Wye is somewhere id love to try but another day!

      In regards to the Trout, I do hope that the EA do keep eyes and ears open, we all do our part for conservation.

      Delete
  5. Well done James on the wonderful roach. It's many years now since I took a two pound fish as they just don't seem to be around in any numbers these days.
    Trotting bread flake is wonderful way to take them, and ledgered just into dusk.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unfortunately 2lb Roach are fairly rare in comparison with say the 1970's and 80's, but there are still small pockets about, a river 3 isn't impossible, it will take a mammoth journey or a very lucky trip somewhere and catch everything right and it be there on a plate, but it could take years, I may never ever catch one, the Holy Grail is of course a dream but so quickly can become reality. Here's to hoping. Flake or bread punch all the way during the winter, many thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  6. Top work mate. A true fish of a lifetime. Feeding mashed bread?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello there Russell, I may have caught upwards of 20 Roach over the magical 2lb barrier in my 20 years of fishing but everyone as impressive as the next, it's impossible to get Blaise as they are so rare living wild in the rivers, I always look forward to catching another, I fully understand that anglers who are top of their profession may never have the experience of catching a 2lb plus Roach and that is what makes it so special. The Roach didn't get any free food this time, I had ran out by dusk, I was down to my last slice of Warburtons too! How lucky am I.

      Delete
  7. An utterly brilliant roach James and much more worthy than trips to a certain scottish stillwater for them, as for the chub, poxy never! ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a brilliant catch, let's hope for more eh! Everybody loves a Chub don't they.

      Delete