The keen roach angler will certainly not be short on variety in the fishing year. As the days shorten and winter approaches, tactics change again. Hooks and hooklengths get finer, bait choices alter and the fish are no longer as evenly spread, having a tendency to congregate in deeper areas. Places with depth and cover such as sheltered bends and marinas are likely areas, as are wider sections. bridgewater canal preston brook fishing Urban stretches of canal, where the water is slightly warmer and better sheltered also draw concentrations of roach. If you’re fishing a match, you must grin and bear the swim you’ve drawn, but for the pleasure angler, a move is always sensible should you find your starting peg devoid of life.
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Big roach tip
The better roach often hug the edges of the shoal. Try positioning your bait just off your main feed area, or where a few samples have been falling a little further out than the rest.
Winter roach still respond well to regular feed, but your efforts should be more cautious. The fish must be coaxed to feed now, rather than showered with free food. Smaller maggots, by which I mean pinkies and tiny squats, are an ideal way to introduce plenty of free samples without overfeeding the swim Fine, dark groundbaits are also useful, and these should be riddled and used sparingly. In fact some clear water anglers swear the dark cloud created by a fine groundbait helps the fish to settle.
Perhaps the best winter roach bait of all, however, is punched bread, which works exceptionally well in clear water. Finely liquidised bread is used as feed, while a small piece of punch goes on the hook. Many winter match anglers wouldn’t fish without it. bridgewater canal carp record Nor is this just a method for tiddlers. Plenty of winter contests have been won by a run of quality fish taken on bread.
In days gone by, bloodworm and jokers were the method of choice for match fishing, with hooks down to an astonishing size 26. Their use might be limited to match specialists today, but there is still probably no better bait when the going gets really tough.