What rig for rising roach?
ROACH on my local lake come off the bottom quickly as soon as I start to loosefeed. Do I need a different rig to catch them up in the water?
Phil Clifton, Measham
THE answer is to fish shallow, or at least at mid-depth, with a rig that will cover much of the swim and give you the chance to pick off roach from an inch deep to halfway down.
Roach that have come off bottom will top on the surface and you’ll get hold-ups on the float as they intercept the bait as it falls and holding shot up so the float fails to settle. The real giveaway, though, is no bites once the float has finally settled, of course.
When this happens, switch over to a pole rig (right), starting at around half-depth with strung-out shot to give the bait a uniformly slow fall through the water, which gives you the best chance of getting a bite on the drop. If no bites come, shallow up the rig by three or four inches and repeat the process. You’ll soon find where the fish are, as you’ll connect with bites more regularly.
How you lay the rig into the swim goes a long way to deciding how many fish you catch. The popular way is to lay the rig on to the surface of the water parallel with the bank. Occasionally, though, flick the rig past the pole-tip and lay it in with the bait on the opposite side of the float to you. Very slowly lowering the rig in so it falls vertically, almost an inch at a time, also offers a completely different style of presentation and can turn missed indications into fish in the net.