Get out there and catch some prime autumn roach! We reveal the best places to head for now...
Get among the shoals with this handy guide to the hotspots
I’VE said this in my column before, but I still can’t believe how many fish there are in the rivers at the moment, and how few anglers are taking advantage of it. Even with the nights drawing in I’ve been lucky enough to get a couple of hours of fishing in during the week, and around half a day at the weekend – and I’ve been filling my boots!
Every run through on my float is rewarded with a dace, roach, chub, skimmer, perch, gudgeon or bleak, and even a few of the famous Ferry Meadows hybrids have put in an appearance.
The only things missing are other anglers, which is a real shame.
I’m not fishing some exclusive stretch of river or a private syndicate either – most of the river is free fishing, and there are miles of it to go at.
If you’ve not been on the rivers for a while then it’s time you did. You really couldn’t pick a better time to try them out again.
For those who are seasoned running water anglers my plea to you is to take someone with you and show them just how good it can be – you can even use the free rod licence voucher on page 50 of this week’s issue. Two anglers proving just how full of fish the rivers are right now are Dave Harrell and Kelvin Tallett – read their two-pronged approach for fast action on pages 26-29 and give it a go!
“It’s time to get on the riverbank and catch a netful of redfins”
TARGETING some river species can be a bit hit-and-miss at this time of year, but one fish you can rely on to get plenty of bites from is the ever-popular roach.
Early autumn is a great time to get on the riverbank and catch a netful of redfins.
So whether you want fish-achuck action on the stick float or the chance of catching a personal-best specimen on a leger rig, Angling Times has put together the best venues for you….
RIVER AVON, STRATFORD-ON-AVON, WARKS
The famous ‘Rec’ stretch has been producing some cracking bags of roach to stick float, waggler and pole anglers in recent weeks. This stretch will produce right through the autumn. Contact: Bailey’s of Warwick, 01926 491984 Prices: £3 on the bank, Leamington AA
RIVER BRUE, WEST LYDFORD, SOMERSET
The fishing has just started to pick up at this autumn/winter hotspot. Bags of roach as well as some big specimens to over 2lb are on offer from this narrow waterway. Contact: Somerset Angling, 01278 431777 Prices: £7 from Somerset Angling Centre, Glaston Manor AC
RIVER DEE, FARNDON, CHESHIRE
The fishing is free from the English side of the river here. Every autumn the sport really comes alive here, with anglers claiming big bags of roach on both the float and feeder, with individual fish to over 2lb. Contact: Tackle Locker, 01244 345069 Prices: £20 a season, Dee AA
RIVER GREAT OUSE, KEMPSTON, BEDS
A recent match held here saw some whopping weights of redfins with most of the field recording double-figure nets. The best catches were taken on the float with maggots. Contact: Vauxhall AC, 07963641463 Prices: £55 annual membership
RIVER GREAT OUSE, ST NEOTS, CAMBS
The fishing from the town bridge at Riverside Park is fantastic in autumn, with plenty of depth and a steady pace. You can catch one-a-chuck on the waggler or long pole. Contact: Mad Baits, 01480 476995 Prices: £4 a day on the bank, St Neots DFPAS
RIVER HULL, BEVERLEY, E YORKS
This stretch has seen some big matches held on it in recent years and anglers have recorded nets to 40lb, made up of mainly roach. Contact: Hull Angling Centre, 01482 374201 Prices: Free fishing
RIVER MEDWAY, EAST PECKHAM, KENT
Big shoals of roach can be found here once the weather starts to cool. Angling Times did a feature with local match ace Nick Gilbert here in autumn and watched him net a big net of fish to over 1lb on the pole with caster. Contact: Fishon Online, 01892 459217 Prices: Free fishing at East Peckham between the bridge at Branbridges Road and the weir upstream
RIVER NENE, PETERBOROUGH, CAMBS
One of the best areas is Stibbington Boatyard. Park sensibly in Sutton village and walk down Lovers Lane before crossing the field to fish opposite the boats. Hemp and punch is a great combination for fish to 1lb-plus. Contact: F Wade & Son, 01733 565159 Prices: £5 on the bank, Peterborough DAA
RIVER RIBBLE, WALTON-LE-DALE, LANCS
In great form this season with anglers using trotting tactics to catch roach to over 2lb. Expect plenty of dace and chub too. Contact: Ted Carter Preston, 01772 253476 Prices: Free fishing
RIVER SEVERN, SHREWSBURY, SHROPSHIRE
This venue has really come on in recent seasons as a roach fishing hotspot. Matchmen in particular have recorded some great catches of roach on the section they call ‘The Quarry’ using long pole or trotting tactics. Contact: Total Angling, 01743 462699 Prices: £5 from Total Angling Shrewsbury, Shropshire Federation of Anglers
RIVER STOUR, CANTERBURY TOWN CENTRE, KENT
This stretch sees few anglers but holds some really big roach to well over 2lb. This being an urban venue, it suits the roving angler who can catch using freelined bread flake or maggots fished under a small float. Contact: Cathedral Tackle, 01843 591134 Prices: Free fishing
RIVER THAMES, SANDFORD MEADOW, OXON
Waggler or pole with caster and hemp is currently producing some pristine fish in double-figure nets from this very consistent stretch. Contact: Littlemore AC, 07789334710 Prices: £3 a day from local tackle shops
RIVER TRENT, NOTTINGHAM EMBANKMENT, NOTTS
The Trent is full of roach at the moment, with most areas able to provide some good sport. The embankment in Nottingham has always been a hotspot for the species. The best tactic is to fish off the steps with a waggler cast a few rodlengths out to catch fish to 1lb-plus. Contact: Matchman Supplies, 01159 813834 Prices: Free fishing
RIVER WAVENEY, BECCLES, SUFFOLK
The pegs by the road bridge down by the yacht club offer deep water, and are alive with roach right through the autumn. You can catch a netful easily using whip to hand, mini feeder, stick float or even the pole. Contact: Angling Direct, 01502 713379 Prices: Free fishing
RIVER WEAVER, WINSFORD, CHESHIRE
The popular Red Lion stretch through the town is well known for its roach sport. You can catch up to 40lb on a good day using just maggots on the stick float or pole. Contact: Dave’s of Middlewich, 01606 833853 Prices: £5 on the bank or £35 a season, Winsford AC
RIVER WELLAND, SPALDING TOWN CENTRE, LINCS
Target the pegs either side of the main town bridge for a good day’s fishing. Its absolutely solid here in late autumn and you can catch 40lb using the pole around 5m out with breadpunch or pinkies. Contact: Granz Angling, 01775 712206 Prices: Free fishing
Pole fishing on the River Nene at Stibbington.
A fine cach of hemp roach from the Nene at Sutton.
Stour in Canterbury, Kent. A huge roach from the River