Friday, 23 October 2015

Flashback: Fish of a Lifetime.

A winter Roach of specimen proportion's ( 2.02 ).
 Since capturing that 2lb 5oz specimen of a Roach the other day I spent quite a lot of time dwelling on what has been an amazing journey so far, large Roach are extremely rare as all of us angler's know, catching these majestic creatures is a difficult task at the best of times with years of wisdom behind them fooling these is seldom easy.

 Catching just one of these stunning creatures is considered a fish of a lifetime and I agree wholeheartedly, it is something I have been extremely lucky to have experienced many times during the years I have been fishing, winter's have usually bought the larger fish but summertime has been bountiful too.

 My passion for Roach fishing started when I was roughly 11 years old when I was stalking Carp with my father and spotted a shoal of Roach and Rudd basking in the summer sun, I turned my attention's to the redfin's and within 20 minutes I had caught a 1.05 Roach which was followed by a succession of Rudd to nearly 3lb but for the rarity of the monster Rudd it was the silver bar that captured my attention and has had that ever since. Trotting seems to have caught a mass majority of these special fish but a cold wet night on the Thames whilst fishing mashed bread on the cage feeder was the bearer of my largest of all, at one point I had no idea what it was and as the driving rain battered me from behind the memory from 10 years ago almost to the day will stay with me until the day I die, the headtorch revealed a monster Roach which is still my personal best to this day and when it spun the needle to 2.15 I urged it to hit 3lb but the sheer fact it didn't made no difference in the grand scheme of things.

 That Roach made a sodden journey home almost enjoyable, I remember getting home and showing my father my momento of what is my ultimate angling experience yet and he confirmed it to be a thoroughbred with no hint of Bream whatsoever, I knew that but having it confirmed just substantiated what was a supreme catch it was, not long after that I suffered a corrupt hard drive on my laptop which lost all my data including the photos of that magnificent Roach forever, for weeks after I tried everything to retrieve the photos but to no avail, gutted was the overriding emotion but I still had the memory of it and that can never be lost.

Another 2lb Roach ( 2.01)
What angling is about.

 Since then I have caught 2lb plus almost every season bar one and on one memorable trip I managed to catch a hattrick of 2lb Roach ( 2.2, 2.3 & 2,7 ), it's something I've never done before and never since and all that in just over an hour, when it happens! I remember catching the first and before I could take stock I had 3 in the keepnet, a proper mind blowing experience. Since that personally historic catch I have gone on to catch an average of 2-3 two plus Roach each season and I have put in some serious hours but for what I have got out I feel I've done well.

The largest of that trip at 2.07.

Two of the three 2lb plus Redfin's I had on that crazy day.

Waking up on a crisp winter's morning with the chance of another large Roach is just too much to ignore and often find myself out on the river bank targeting Roach even if the condition's dictate that it may not be ideal, I have managed a few large Roach in condition's that may not have been favorable, one of these trips was on a small chalk stream and remember distinctly turning up and the fishing was electric from the beginning, a number of Roach were taken most of which were high 1's and topped off by a 2lb 1oz specimen, the Roach were feeding ravenously in 32c heat the humidity was even worse as the wind just wasn't blowing. That trip was immense as it was Roach after Roach after Roach all of which fell to tiny flakes of bread fished on a far-bank crease, bread flake being the best of the best in regards to a bait which sorts out the "men from the boys" so to speak.

A bag of real corker's.
 On other occasions I have gone out almost expecting to catch Roach in so called "perfect conditions" and came home empty handed, I have learnt at the expense of many hours of my life already that anytime is the right time, just a case of when but I will always maintain that location is 75% of the battle and once this has been worked out it is just a matter of time. With two 2's already this season I have high hopes for another one at some point this Winter. Tight Lines.

2.03 my first this season.
2.05 my most recent beauty.

My canal PB, at 1.15 she was oh so close to a 2lber but makes it here.
Summertime madness, 2lb 3oz.
A stunning 2.06 redfin also during winter.
A plump 2.05 Roach during winter.


  1. Nice summary James and an enjoyable little read. Some of us can only dream about roach like that!

    1. Cheers Russell, I enjoyed writing, it allowed me to relive those moments back in my memories museum, some fantastic times, I feel like I'm dreaming every time I catch and I never underestimate just how lucky I have been, your time will come, Sir Jeff is a prime of example as to why you must continue to persevere, it WILL happen! Cheers again Russell.

  2. For the roach angler 15oz is a cruel number when you put a one or a two in front of it!

    I:15 is a two pound roach in all but number. No essential difference between it and a 2:01. A 2:15 is similar for the three pound dream. But it really does matter because roach really do mean something when they surpass those barriers, don't they?

    1. Yes Jeff, I agree completely with you, an ounce is so insignificant in the big wide world but when that monster Roach is shy of that same amount it is the most significant ounce imaginable, a fish of 2.15 though is an unbelieveable fish, the sheer size of that fish still gives me goosebumps and to think I've been fishing swims where they patrol just makes me think just when it might happen. I've got a bag full of karma points to use up. Will that beauty of all beasts reveal herself?.