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
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