Rigs, baits, lures and es­sen­tial tips

Angling Times (UK) - - FRONT PAGE -

THE biggest roach of the sea­son – a gi­ant weigh­ing 3lb 11oz – has been caught this week.

Af­ter trav­el­ling to venues up and down the coun­try in search of a new per­sonal best, Daniel Wool­cott fi­nally struck gold at High­bridge Fish­ery in Nor­folk on the first ses­sion of his lat­est win­ter cam­paign.

Last year Daniel landed a flurry of fish to 2lb 10oz from the same venue, prompt­ing the Lon­doner to re­turn for a sec­ond sea­son tar­get­ing the big roach that in­habit the six-acre lake.

Set­ting up for his first trip of the win­ter, he fished a heli­copter feeder rig a cou­ple of rodlengths out in a shal­low area of the venue, with sweet­corn on the hook.

His rodtip didn’t move for sev­eral hours, but just af­ter mid­night Daniel had an un­ex­pected take.

He told An­gling Times: “The biggest fish tend to kite off straight away and that is ex­actly what hap­pened, so I knew I was into some­thing special. As soon as it went into the net, I knew that I had fi­nally beaten my pre­vi­ous roach per­sonal best of 2lb 11oz.

“Strangely, I’d joked with the venue man­ager when I ar­rived that I would be call­ing him in the mid­dle of the night to take pic­tures of a 3lb-plus roach, and so it proved!”

Daniel, who had ear­marked a large chunk of his win­ter fish­ing time for tar­get­ing big roach, added: “To land one of this size on my first ses­sion of the cam­paign is al­most beyond be­lief. I had in­tended to spend three nights at the venue, but I packed up soon af­ter­wards to go and spend time with my fam­ily and have a beer.

“I don’t think I’ll be go­ing back to High­bridge for a while, as it will be ex­tremely tough to beat this fish. I am now go­ing to switch my at­ten­tions to pike and perch.”

Daniel wasn’t the only man to set a new roach per­sonal best this week in less than ideal con­di­tions – Matthew Fer­nan­dez (left) raised the bar with a 2lb 8oz fish from the River Itchen. The Hamp­shire rod has been a venue reg­u­lar for more than 15 years but had never banked a 2lb-plus redfin, de­spite many at­tempts.

He fi­nally set the record straight when the fish fell for his dou­ble mag­got hook­bait pre­sented un­der­neath a 3BB stick float.

Matthew said: “I’d had fish over 1lb ear­lier in the ses­sion, but then I was left ab­so­lutely gut­ted af­ter some­thing much more sub­stan­tial slipped the hook at the net.

“I thought my chances of a gi­ant were gone, so to land this fish shortly af­ter­wards re­ally made my day.”

His suc­cess­ful rig was made up of 3lb main­line to a 1.5lb hook­length and a size 18 Dren­nan Su­per Spe­cial­ist hook.



By trap­ping the short hook­length be­tween two beads on the main­line 6ins or so above the feeder, once cast out it will spin freely in flight, pre­vent­ing tan­gles in the process.


Two of the best win­ter hook­baits for roach are corn and mag­gots. These can be hair-rigged or im­paled on the hook.


Both cage and block­end feed­ers work well with this rig, help­ing to de­liver loose­feed ac­cu­rately.

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