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Thread: River roach

  1. Default River roach

    I'm not exactly in the running for roach angler of the year but I'm catching some good fish whilst trotting for barbel and chub. I fancy targeting the roach so I'm wondering what peoples favourite baits and techniques are for sorting out the bigger river roach?

  2. #2

    Default Re: River roach

    Maggots, corn, bread and casters are some of the obvious baits, but then again you could use pellets, some forum members swear by 'em lol.

  3. #3
    binka Guest

    Default Re: River roach

    I don't deliberately target decent river roach these days nearly as often as I ought to despite the fact I know they're there and I tend to find it's the finer tackle and presentation that sorts the better roach out but then you're in the catch twenty two situation and running the risk of a smash up when Boris comes along, depending on the river of course.

    I am talking really finer tackle here, not just middle of the road sub-barbel gear, as much as the bait choice itself but if you're picking them up already then it sounds like it might just be a few tweaks that might be required.

    I think I would stick with bread, casters, maggot and worms.

    Not very selective but maybe it's a case that other species will come along regardless of what bait you use and trying something aimed specifically at roach will increase your chances of a target fish and just wade through the rest?

    Like Ian mentioned I have taken some really nice roach on pellet, I'm sure they cash in on the amounts that are generally going in so then it's a case of working out the best presentation if they're not coming frequently enough and running any associated risks.

    Maybe a roach specific bait additive?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    The Nene Valley

    Default Re: River roach

    Bread flake, caster, silk weed and the small black snails that live in the silk weed (or woodlice as a sub) would be my first choice followed by hemp/elderberrys/tares or similar. Plenty of others will also catch - they're just my preference........
    That's about as big as a fish that big gets
    If you understand what you’re doing, you’re not learning anything................

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Luton Bedfordshire.
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: River roach

    The trouble today is that the convenience of pellet means every venue gets a regular dose of them,the roach accept them readily as a major food item,so a roach angler has to match the hatch so to speak.

  6. #6

    Default Re: River roach

    At the moment definitely hemp and tares, on the Thames currently nothing can beat it.

    There's no mystery to it just spend a bit of time preparing the tares correctly and it's one of the simplest of ways to fish.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    South East England

    Default Re: River roach

    Sorting out the bigger roach? which is what Stillwater asked is a slightly different proposition. certainly bigger bait which the smaller ones cant snaffle and the bigger roach can hang off the main feeding area, sometimes downstream picking off morsels; they don't like to compete with the smaller quicker fish. Trying trotting further down will sometimes pick one off or moving down 20 yards now and then and trot from there. Piece of crust with plenty of white on it about quarter to half inch square anchored down with a shot about a couple inches from the hook can be good. just trip it along the bottom or fish it static laying on style. Sweetcorn will often sort out the bigger roach as well or any similar type bait; the bites will often dry up if you switch from maggots say to sweetcorn but if your patient, a good roach or two might come.. Both baits the smaller ones will have a go at but less often. I don't have any experience of pellets but I am sure they are good as previously mentioned. Barbelboi mentions woodlice, I have found them excellent on occasions but they tend to float; mix them into balls of groundbait and one or two on the hook worth thinking about.
    Features are worth thinking about, the bigger roach may be in small groups, deeper holes, alongside rushes, under bushes, trees and eddies small or large are worth looking for. Under boats are often thought of as good places but I cant say I have noticed it but might be worth a try as well.
    A 14 hook buried in the bait is enough for me but you could go a 12 or 10. I generally prefer the bait static than trotting but a lot will depend on where you are. A light link lejer is as good sometimes. Aniseed is often mentioned but I have never tried it as a flavour attraction.
    September coming up is a very good month for big roach. Windy, rain, low pressures and warm days are useful. Plenty of colour in the water as well.
    This might help in sorting out days when the conditions are good for big roach
    Last but not least luck, if I could bottle it or make it into a pill you could ignore all the above. However, everyone will have there favourite ways, plenty to think about than just my take on it. Should set you up in the right direction.
    Last edited by markg; 02-08-2017 at 07:24.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    West Sussex

    Default Re: River roach

    I've never really gone for Roach on rivers but ive caught them whilst targeting Chub. The largest (3.01lb)one was caught on a 15mm boilie, size 10 hook. This one looked a bit hybrid. The other large one(2.12lb) was on a lump of Spam. Apart from them, the other "normal sizes ones" were caught on pellets, corn and maggots. Going by the other replies it seems you can catch larger ones on anything. The hard bit is to be in the right place.

  9. #9

    Default Re: River roach

    Ninety nine per cent of my fishing is now for roach. As has already been mentioned hemp and tares sort the bigger than average roach on the float. Most of the time I leger for them. in summer I find that if bread is used it gets mullered by the small fish which is a shame because I am sure the roach prefer it. Not always but mostly the roach seem to prefer 8mm carp type pellets to sweetcorn, you do at present need a bait which is tiddler proof. Wheat is a much underrated bait and can be either legered or floatfished.

    When legering directly downstream from your rod top use a running lead or feeder with the appropriate quivertip, if you are casting across and downstream use a fixed lead (use a float stop) give out line to create a bow and wait for the tip to rattle - that is a bite - the fish is pulling the lead over the gravel. The best way to leger is upstream with either a softish tip or a weighted bobbin - again use a fixed lead or you will not see the bites, the tip will spring straight or the bobbin will hit the floor.

    Experiment with flavours, they do make a difference. Dawn and early morning is best in summer and dusk and into dark in winter.

    Be prepared to accept accidental captures, I have had 20 plus carp, double figure barbel, trout, grayling, blasted bream, etc on roach tackle. Good luck.

    PS: forgot to mention lobworms - use in winter not in summer because the crayfish go potty for them!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    In God's County: Wiltshire
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: River roach

    Best baits or roach will depend wholly on things like; location, conditions, average size of target fish and the season . . . . .

    My best roach from the Hampshire Avon have mostly come to break flake I the late summer/ earl autumn or caster through the year.

    At times, about now, then hemp and tares will score as will casters and hemp.

    I have never had much success on that river using maggots are they are too readily quaffed by the smaller roach, dace and minnows; so another factor to take into consideration is what else is in the river and will compete for your baits . . . .

    Likewise I've never caught decent roach on pellet, on that river either, but then I rarely use them unless on a match on a commercial pool.

    Scholars have long known that fishing eventually turns men into philosophers.

    Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to buy decent tackle on a philosopher's salary. ~

    Patrick F. McManus

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