Huge 3lb-plus redfin leads incredible week for specimen roach
ASLIGHT temperature drop has sent shoals of big roach into a feeding frenzy in what has been a phenomenal week for catches.
Despite a combination of blustery winds and frosty conditions, ravenous redfins have been on the feed across the UK.
The largest roach banked fell to James Brown, the season’s best so far at 3lb 14oz.
It took a washed-out pink Moretakes Promatein Liver pop-up boilie presented on scaled-down carp tackle, proving that sometimes bigger baits are needed to get through to the larger roach. The NHS paramedic from Suffolk told Angling Times: “I had been enjoying a Friday afternoon to Monday morning carp session at Highbridge Fisheries in Norfolk, but by Sunday all I’d had was a low double.
“I noticed quite a few roach topping on the shelf line on Sunday morning where I had been baiting up all weekend, and decided that if it was a quiet night for carp I’d have a go.”
By Monday morning the roach could still be seen breaking the surface over James’ spot 25 yards from the bank, so after introducing more corn, pellets and Moretakes Promatein Liver boilies he cast out his free-running pop-up rig. “I spoke at length to one of the syndicate specimen roach hunters about my intention to get the feeders, maggots and quivertips out, but he suggested that boilies were more effective on a running lead for these fish,” James added.
“After following his instructions it wasn’t long before I had a twitchy take which I knew was a roach, but because I was using gear intended for 40lb carp the fight was fairly subdued.
“Considering I hadn’t initially planned on fishing for the roach I was very happy with the result.”
A huge piece of breadflake was key to the next roach capture – a chunky 2lb 10oz redfin for specimen hunter Simon Daley.
The 42-year-old roofer trotted the enticing bait along a farbank crease on a stretch of the Hampshire Avon, and received a positive bite just before nightfall. He said: “I had a take about 30 yards down the run and I knew when I set the hook that it was a big fish.
“It surfaced halfway up the run and my legs just turned to jelly.”
Arron Seder was next to cash in on the recent roach form with a 2lb 4oz specimen. It was a new personal best for Arron, who targeted a southern chalk stream with maggots and hempseed.
A single white maggot proved to be the downfall of the fish, as well as a 5lb chub, a bag of grayling and two small perch. Just a couple of weeks after
catching a 3lb 2oz roach in the annual Avon Roach Project match, Mark Everard visited a stretch of the Bristol Avon to take another redfin, this time weighing 2lb 4oz.
Making the most of a tight 20-minute feeding window, Mark legered breadflake over liquidised bread to take the fine fish along with a string of others to 1lb 12oz.
Finally, Andy Childs rounded off the list of specimen roach catches when a 2lb 1oz fish picked up his hookbait during a crucian fishing session on Godalming AS’s Johnson’s Lake in Surrey.
James Brown’s 3lb 14oz roach, best this season.