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  1. #1

    Default Size of Bait for Roach??

    I would appreciate you thoughts on this. Usually when fishing specifically for roach I use quite big baits - typically big bits of flake or punched bread, largish particles, 8 or 10mm pellets, etc. On most waters (with patience!) these baits work reasonably well. Yet, there are some lakes where they are useless and the roach will ONLY take small baits!? Why on some waters do only small baits work for roach? It makes it so difficult to single out the better ones. Prebaiting does not work because all it does is encourage the signal crayfish.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Size of Bait for Roach??

    A piece of crust from the edge of a sliced loaf about 1/4 inch square is my best bait for big roach with a 14 or a 12 hook pushed through it just anchored off the bottom about 2 inches. Float mainly, layed on sort of but legered probably just as good if not better just I like a float. I find the smaller roach give it less attention until it goes soft and I have had more big roach on this than any other bait I think. Sep usually a good month for the bigger roach so I will be giving this a go if I get out and fish.
    Bigger than 1/4 inch I try sometimes, say a 1/2 by 1/4 inch length of crust but not sure if it makes any difference.
    I like sweetcorn and sometimes try 2 or 3 nicked onto the hook but I find I miss bites a lot, I think the fish are trying to put one in thier mouth and dont take it properly so, one sweetcorn works better usually. if thats the same with other roach baits I don't know, wheat, hemp as I have not tried them, is one better than two or three?
    I have been trying soft pellets lately and not done enough yet but I feel one on the hook works better than when I have tried two, missed bites, I think the same reason, are the fish trying to put one in thier mouth?
    Last edited by markg; 31-08-2019 at 07:48.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Size of Bait for Roach??

    The answer to your question is the stocking level of the water and the presence of carp/catfish etc. Where these larger fish are present fish have to complete for food and so much is placed in the water for the carp the roach start getting alike to them.

    On waters where these fish are not so present in number roach become a lot smarter and more shy. The lure of big roach is that they are very difficult to catch and also every pretty as long as they live clear/clean water.

    Signals are a pain, I try to stay clear of waters with them in large numbers. The best way to tackle bigger roach in natural waters is first locate them, then get roach completing for food. Feed hemp from the off but fish maggot or caster, then slowly introduce tear, elderberries or wheat looking to get the bigger fish on that in the dying hour or two of the session.

    Good luck, a large roach is not a fool you will need to present your bait spot on and have a little bit of lady luck your side also. However this I have found is the best way to catch rid fins above average in size, pretty consistently over the last 60 years. Other methods bread flake over leger, I've never had much success if I'm honest, not for roach anyway, chub yea but roach... not for old dannyboy

    p.s use a keepnet too, roach are shoal fish and communicate via body language.
    Last edited by daniel121; 31-08-2019 at 09:20. Reason: add in keepnet
    The world is full of kings and queens who blind your eyes and steal your dreams!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Size of Bait for Roach??

    Many thanks for your posts. It just seems odd that on some waters roach will not take say a single grain of sweetcorn or a largish pellet but will only take small baits like tares or maggots or small pieces of flake? This makes eliminating the small roach difficult and you have to wade through the small ones to catch the better roach.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Size of Bait for Roach??

    Quote Originally Posted by peterjg View Post
    Many thanks for your posts. It just seems odd that on some waters roach will not take say a single grain of sweetcorn or a largish pellet but will only take small baits like tares or maggots or small pieces of flake? This makes eliminating the small roach difficult and you have to wade through the small ones to catch the better roach.
    Yes I've always found that the large roach wade out the small ones for you on red letter days. When the big roach show up in mass they bully off the bits
    The world is full of kings and queens who blind your eyes and steal your dreams!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Size of Bait for Roach??

    I recall reading something about Roach fishing on a heavily matched fished canal. During the day it was all tiny baits to stand any chance at all but after dark the Roach would take big lumps of bread on comparatively crude tackle....so maybe timing is a factor here.

    For my own part a 50p sized bit of flake folded over & pinched on to the hook or 3 grains of corn. Thats about the size I go for when after the better ones.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Size of Bait for Roach??

    Quote Originally Posted by Philip View Post
    I recall reading something about Roach fishing on a heavily matched fished canal. During the day it was all tiny baits to stand any chance at all but after dark the Roach would take big lumps of bread on comparatively crude tackle....so maybe timing is a factor here.

    For my own part a 50p sized bit of flake folded over & pinched on to the hook or 3 grains of corn. Thats about the size I go for when after the better ones.
    Philip, thanks for your post: I am sure that you are right concerning big baits after dark for roach. The biggest factor required for bigger roach to feed is the lack of light or/and water clarity but I find on some waters bigger baits are still not eaten by roach? It's a great puzzle, there is a gravel pit which I regularly fish which contains some bigger roach which I am unable to catch while other similar nearby pits are easier.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Size of Bait for Roach??

    It is a bit of a mystery with roach how they differ on different waters. I have frequently notice how they look different as well, different colouring mainly. One river I fish they are a sort of slate grey colour yet on another river close by they are more silvery. But they are finnicky, change what they want week to week, sometimes its small bread, sometimes large, sometimes sweetcorn or not at all.
    Trying to find what they will take on what water and what day is not easy. Keep experimenting Peter, have you tried luncheon meat, I cannot try it where I fish because of a plague of eels but it is very good on some lakes I fish, small cubes on a 14 hook but bigger lumps on a 10 hook say might keep the smaller ones away and some anglers fry it a bit first to make the skin tough which also stops the small fish nibbling it. But it might attract tench and carp as well, was not a problem on the lake I fished as the carp kept well away on the far bank in the day time and the tench fed at specific times, usually about 4-6pm. The roach loved the luncheon meat though and the crucians as well. So, try some largish lumps of slightly fried luncheon meat might be worth a try.
    Then there's the old favourite, tail of a big lobworm or even a whole lobworm but you never know what you might pick up but, a big roach might come along as well.
    I have often said this but when small roach are shoaling around the baited area, I will fish away from it, 20/30 yds downstream or off the edge of the area on a lake, the big roach sometimes hang back looking for morsels and don't compete with the more agile and smaller fish; picked up some nice big roach like this.
    Last edited by markg; 04-09-2019 at 06:13.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Size of Bait for Roach??

    Quote Originally Posted by peterjg View Post
    The biggest factor required for bigger roach to feed is the lack of light or/and water clarity .
    I put an album together a few years ago of photos of my 2lb roach, I was surprised to see that 70-80% of them were caught on bright sunny days, and mostly from really clear rivers. If you look at random catches in the mags you'll see that 'sunny roach' pics seem more common than that of species like barbel or chub. I'll actually go for sunny/clear conditions now especially with baits like pellets/hemp

    It's a myth that they need coloured water and overcast/dark skies - defeat it

  10. #10

    Default Re: Size of Bait for Roach??

    Markg, yes I have tried luncheon meat and it can work well. I use small cubes died black (Tescos food dye) and with hemp as feed. Same with me, I also find that they be finnicky, I suppose that's half the fun.

    The Artist, while I don't doubt your findings for a second I can't say that I have found the same. My best roach catches have been mainly on dull days, early or late or after dark. Water clarity, or lack of it, certainly helps roach to feed freely with (for some unknown reason) hemp being the exception to sometimes work well in gin clear water?!

    I certainly wish I could catch more roach in clear, bright conditions I am doing something wrong!?

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