Bob Roberts reveals the ultimate big roach feeder rig – tie it now!
Bob Roberts reckons it could be...
“When a silver flank rolled on the surface I knew this was the fish I’d come for”
WHEN carp anglers report catching 3lb roach by accident from a well-known day-ticket complex, you first of all question how accurately they are weighing these ‘nuisance’ fish that have spoiled their carefully set traps.
Even so, there comes a point where the sceptic within starts to ask questions. And when my friend Brian Skoyles returned from a carping trip to Linear Fisheries in Oxfordshire and said: “Bob, I think we should have a go for the roach,” I didn’t need asking twice.
When we rolled up on Brasenose 2, top specialists Phil Smith and Mick Dinnigan were already roach fishing, while another – Tony Miles – had fished up to the right earlier in the week.
We pitched up at midday, just as our illustrious neighbours were packing away after two-night sessions. Information was shared freely, but that only served to complicate matters because they had fished at different ranges with different baiting approaches. But they had each caught a 2lb roach. Could we emulate them?
Brian and I started by casting a lead around. We wanted to find relatively weed-free areas at ranges that could still be reached if the wind strengthened. Accuracy matters. We didn’t want bars, either. Big roach are a grazing fish. They will move around quite a bit, having a nibble here, a nibble there. No point in piling in mountains of bait hoping to hold them. Even a 3lb roach has a relatively tiny stomach and if numbers are low the chances of your bait being picked up are slim.
A bit of smooth gravel would be ideal, not too stony because we were fishing maggots, and it’s important they remain in view of the fish to work their magic pulling power.
We would be using standard helicopter rigs with blockend feeders and sensitive and reliable Delkim indicators.
While I spent the afternoon being mullered by small roach and perch within seconds of casting out, Brian merely had half-an-hour’s worth of trouble and then couldn’t buy a bite. This allowed him to slowly build the swim, and it came as no surprise when his bobbin jumped and fell straight back on to the floor as a good fish bolted off with his feeder in tow.
I knew from the second I saw it on the surface it was a 2lb roach.
And it was – a mint-conditioned specimen weighing 2lb 6oz.
Brian then had another cracking roach of identical weight and a pound-plus perch, while I was driven out of my mind by tiddlers in the very next swim.
The next morning I was up early, fishing hard and pleased that the
‘bits’ hadn’t woken up yet. Out of the blue my bobbin jagged and dropped to the floor, and before I could pick up the rod the bobbin had hit the butt again.
The rod-tip jagged savagely as what was clearly a big roach shook its head violently, as they always do. When a big silver flank rolled on the surface I knew this was the fish I’d come for.
Having made sure it was secure in the net I then ran round in circles, jumping up and down punching the air.
That’s what a 2lb roach means, even to an old git like me who’s caught a fair few in the past...
Brasenose 2 is best known for its huge carp.
Brian Skoyles and his 2lb 6oz roach.
Job done – my two-pounder made me happy!