FIVE TOP TIPS FOR RIVER ROACH
TRY BREADPUNCH For roach, a 4mm to 6mm piece of punch on a size 18 or 16 hook can be a real winner. I use fine white crumb for feed but you can achieve the same results with liquidised bread.
LONGER LINES ON POLE RIGS If pole gear is needed to present the hookbait correctly, try using a longer-than-normal line. I make up all my rigs the same length as my top five pole sections, trimmed to suit.
STRAIGHT LEAD OR FEEDER? Barbel and chub associate the splash of a feeder with food but know its potential danger after being caught a few times. That’s why we end up using longer and longer hooklengths when the river is running clear. In these situations a straight lead makes far less splash and can be fished over the same area where the feeder has been landing, so mix it up after feeding the swim with a feeder for an hour or two.
EXTRA LONG HOOKLENGTHS If bites are hard to come by on the feeder or straight lead, try using a hooklength of up to 6ft. Barbel, in particular, are very wary in clear water and it can make a big difference.
TIME YOUR TRIPS When rivers are running really clear, the best times to fish are the first two and last two hours of a day. Obviously, this doesn’t help match anglers but for pleasure fishing, try to plan your days to suit these times and you’ll probably catch more in two hours than you will in five or six in the middle of the day.