Martin Bowler goes in search of a spec­i­men roach – and gets a re­sult!

With fish show­ing their pres­ence, I was quick to set a trap for them

Angling Times (UK) - - WELCOME -

IT WAS the crack of dawn, and the first streaks of or­ange were ap­pear­ing. How­ever, this time these weren’t from the sun.

It was from the fins of roach break­ing the wa­ter’s sur­face, and on this wind­less morn­ing the lake still rip­pled from the prim­ing of these rav­en­ous fish.

They were in the mood to feed, and I was more than happy to oblige with a dozen Spomb loads of bait. Their early break­fast menu was blood­worm pel­lets and white ker­nelled-hempseed, along with a sprin­kling of sweet­corn to which I had added a gen­er­ous help­ing of salt.

As each pay­load landed and spread in a widen­ing pyra­mid down through the wa­ter col­umn, my quarry fol­lowed it. By the time I had fin­ished bait­ing up, not one fish was show­ing. They were much too busy pick­ing up the feast they had just been served.

Roach are not al­ways will­ing to take an an­gler’s bait, but at cer­tain times of the year they for­sake nat­u­rals for a far richer diet.

Un­der­stand­ing the aquatic world is what makes a suc­cess­ful fish­er­man, and given the cloud of silt now be­ing stirred up over the ground­bait I had every chance of suc­cess to­day. It was time to tackle up and make a cast.

The fish were 40 yards out, and to reach them I chose my Dren­nan Se­ries 7 12ft Carp Feeder with a 3oz tip. To cush­ion the stresses of cast­ing a large open-ended feeder I spooled up with 8lb Method Feeder main­line. The rig it­self was a run­ning pater­nos­ter with a semi-stiff link sup­port­ing the feeder – the end of the main­line twisted into a stiff­ish boom to pre­vent tan­gles. To fin­ish things off I tied 2ft of 4.4lb Sup­plex fluoro­car­bon to a size 14 Ka­masan B983 Wide Gape Spe­cial­ist hook.

For big roach that ar­range­ment might ap­pear crude, but un­nec­es­sary fi­nesse can mean lost fish. Given the coloured wa­ter around the hemp and pel­lets I didn’t think it nec­es­sary. The roach were keen to in­crease their fat re­serves to see them through the cooler months, and pick­ing snails off weed wouldn’t do that. So when I gave them what they wanted I was pretty cer­tain the last thing on their minds would be to in­spect my ter­mi­nal tackle.

The feeder was filled with a lit­tle fish­meal ground­bait to bind the main cargo of blood­worm pel­lets. I was also tempted to use one as a hook­bait but I went for a ker­nel

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