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.|
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.|
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.|
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.
|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.