I’M NOT SUR­PRISED TO HEAR OF THOSE BIG THAMES ROACH

...or the tac­tic Martin used to catch them, for that mat­ter I

Angling Times (UK) - - THIS WEEK -

AM not in the least bit sur­prised to hear about Martin Bowler’s ex­pe­ri­ence with Thames roach (see pages 40-43).

The river around Ox­ford has al­ways held qual­ity roach – the Bin­sey length, more com­monly known as Med­ley and prob­a­bly my all-time favourite bit of river, has seen three-pounders in the dim and dis­tant past and Don­ning­ton used to pro­duce plenty of big fish on bread... in fact they were im­pos­si­ble to catch on any­thing else!

Now things have changed and, as Martin and Ryan Hey­den found out, the tac­tic to catch the big­ger roach is, like so much of our fish­ing these days, more akin to scaled-down carp gear.

Although the pel­let feeder as used by Martin and Ryan works, bream can be a nui­sance, es­pe­cially in early and late ses­sions. My mate John Gard found that out on a re­cent evening sor­tie when he had two, both over 8lb. He had a sea trout on the same gear!

What seems to work bet­ter, pro­duc­ing far fewer bites but a higher per­cent­age of redfins, is a straight­for­ward run­ning leger with a long hook­length and a hair-rigged 8mm pel­let or boilie, while loose­feed­ing pel­lets.

Don’t think this works just on the Thames. I reckon the up­per and mid­dle Trent, the Sev­ern and even the Fen rivers would pro­duce the goods. Use a medium quiv­er­tip rod, tackle that will han­dle bar­bel or even carp, and fish open swims on the ‘crease’, where the main flow starts away from the bank. You never know...

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