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Thread: River Roving

  1. #1

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    I'm just writing a piece for the August issue of Coarse Fisherman (in the bookshops end of July) about roving the river for chub and barbel. It's one of my favourite methods, partly because it offers variety and is an efficient fish-catching approach, but mainly because it's so enjoyable. But I reckon that using your watercraft to choose the best swim on the day, and then feeding that swim, is still, largely, the right approach to get the best out of it. What do you think?


  2. #2
    Ray Walton Guest

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    When i rove... I'm searching for 'opportunist' barbel that are not generally pre-occupied on pre-baited areas, where sometimes they can be very hard to catch when under caution, hence this why so many barbel'specialists' use fine lines and hair rigs! To me this is a defeatist attitude to take as you are really admitting to yourself that the fish has outwitted and beaten you, and that you can't catch him on a conventionaly baited hook. (oooer!that'll stir it up!). A barbel alway's picks the bait up in it's lips, and you just have to be alert, aware and detect it, before it puts it down again. I also never or very rarely pre-bait a swim even when i'm fishing static. I fish a single large bait mainly to a fish that i can visibly see in the water if conditions allow, or rove and search out where feeding fish feel safe and are lying in wait, sometimes 'rolling' a bait over 100 yards through weedbeds looking for a 'response' from an alert opportunist barbel (or chub) that thinks it's found a freebie, that's been washed down off a pre-baited 'danger' area'. It's like watching a £50 note blow past on your doorstep! or a pussy cat grabbing at anything that come near it out of instinct or curiosity. Easy peasy! well... but i can assure you that it doesn't work all the time! However, there are reasons for that as well!...Rollin'Ray...


  3. #3
    Raymond House Guest

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    Ray

    I know your approach fairly well and I know that you are fairly successful. However do you tink that rolling large baits at fish that are highly pressurised is the best method or is it just something you enjoy doing ? Surely in some instance the bait up and wait with mass particles would mean more fish on the bank. How do you approach a river with little flow, for instance a slow clear river. I have observed barbel's reaction to meat on some of the more high profile sections of the Ouse and I am pretty sure it scares the living day lights out of them. I don't believe that fishing a hair is admitting defeat it is just another part of one's armoury.

    Regards
    Not so Rollin Ray


  4. #4
    Ray Walton Guest

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    Ray..If you was'nt on the bank, i would undoubtably catch them all! however i do leave you the odd one! as i'm a nice bloke and your the head bailiff, (and a defeatest). The reason that 'pink' meat does spook fish on occassions on some fisheries, is because it is, and has been used in the 'wrong' way. When i did my study on the "Royalty" in the 80's, meat produced between 250-322 barbel for me evey year for seven years. Everyone was using it and that was one of the most 'pressurised' fisheries in the country! I'm not doing anything much different today, and all of my Oooouszze catches, which i won't mention, have come on meat, but other anglers catch on all other baits also, (except you). I'm happy with my catch rate and i love what i'm doing, just like you. Roving and Rolling is a choice, but i stalk and fish static with a number of change baits but meat is the most visible for sight fishing and in my experience the most productive for me, but again not on all venues, and probably because they've been heavily pre-baited with pastes and boilies. I also use coloured meat which does eliminate the pink problem! If you give a barbel a choice of baits, it will definately make a choice. If you don't then it will generally eat what it's given.... Oi ray how's your pussy fishin?


  5. #5
    Raymond House Guest

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    Ray

    I'm not so sure about all this. Take a look at what happened to Phil Smith when he flavoured his meat on the Ouse. Fabulous results for a few months and then nothing, they spooked off it.

    Do you think that spooked fish are scared by the colour, which can be eliminated by the use of food dye or by the smell that the meat eminates. What about bait size that always a concern on clear rivers, less so at night and when the river has colour. Apart from meat and paste baits what other baits can you roll down a river.

    It's about time you stepped out of the stone age and joined us 21st century men with our high tech baits, you just might then get the British record back !!

    Ray in the 21st Century


  6. #6
    Stuart Bullard Guest

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    Graham, a couple of "random" points. Like you, I love roaming around, be it trotting large baits through good looking areas, free lining or static baits. I would be interested to know if there is any correlation between time and method. I can only fish Sunday mornings into the early afternoon and always look to get there before sun rise. It seems to me that pre-baiting some swims and then fishing produces more fish early on, but come 9/10am roaming up and down the river is better (although still not as prolific). This seems especially the case when trying floaters for chub when afternoon seems best. Also, this may sound daft, but on the small streams that I fish where you have to stay low and slow, I am sure I have more success when I walk upstream!! So, my summary is, best after prime times, upstream and its very useful to explore other areas during non-prime time and still have the chance of catching.


  7. #7

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    I tend to agree Stuart, although I don't know about the upstream approach, unless the swims you fish are not too far away from each other when the disturbance in one swim could affect the next. But yes, I prefer to roam after the early morning period and before the late evening period, and make the most of favourite swims early morning and late evening by sticking at them and feeding the fish into a confident feeding mood.


  8. #8
    EDDIE BIBBY Guest

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    Ray,your method of casting to fish that you can actually see may be all well and good ,but to try doing that in the Rivers up here in the North and Midlands just isn't possible.Even when they are at their lowest levels they are that coloured it is impossible to see the fish.How would you tackle them ?


  9. #9
    Philip Inzani Guest

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    Graham, to boil it all down I think the roving approach is about percentages. Its putting your bait as naturally as possible in front of as many fish as possible in the hope that one makes slip. I like the idea of the 50 quid floating past that Ray mentions…..someone’s bound to grab it in the end.
    The sit down, bait up approach is more based on either drawing the fish to you from around or to tempt fish already in the swim into feeding on the line of bait that is relentlessly floating past their noses! Personally I would go for the sit down bait up approach on a bigger river where I cannot see the fish. I would go for the roving approach on a smaller river where I can see them. I have a feeling that this may be a pretty typical view.
    So which is best ? For me there is no difference and it basically comes down to where you are fishing and what you like and want from your fishing. John Bailey did a good article about this in coarse fisherman a while back where he compared the two different styles on the Wye. He obviously likes the roving approach but I seem to remember that at the end of the day both methods ended with the same number of fish.

    Just a quick point about coloring and flavoring meat. Sure it works but I am beginning to wonder what’s the point in fishing meat if your going to cover it in a bloody great load of curry powder and paint it red ? If the fish is fed up with meat and wants a curry taste then why not just fish a curry powder paste or something better suited to carrying a curry taste ? Basically if a Barbel likes meat give it meat, if it does not like it then change it. What’s the point in trying to disguise it as something else ?

    Philip.




  10. #10
    Ray Walton Guest

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    Hi Eddie! come to you in a second!.... Hi Graham.... Why does it keep saying "No entries available" when i log on to look around? I've been looking for new postings from time to time and i've just 'clicked' that the hot + cool buttons are the access! It did'nt do that last week and I'm sure there are lots more 'noddy' web worms like me who are just logging on and logging off 'instantly' without realising!.. or am i the only total meatball?....
    Eddie..One of the reasons for 'rolling and roving' is to search out where the barbel are laying up or feeding! When it colours up, they do in fact become a lot easier to catch...if you can find them! In my experience, down south, they tend to lose they're sense of caution and any inhibitions when picking up baits. When the river is flowing, try every area, walk and 'roll' for a hundred yards or more in one cast,..if the banks allow. The principle is, as i have written in an earlier post, and i catch even more barbel'rolling' in coloured conditions, especially in autumn and winter than in clear water in summer. Rollin' Ray...


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