Roach Rumbo Jumbo

As the name implies, errr kind of implies, this post is a report of my recent attempts trying to catch some roach, a pursuit in which I have always enjoyed very limited success. With this in mind I set my sights on a real “bagging up” water, Tri-nant Fishery’s mixed lake really fitted the bill. Fishing at Tri-nant Fishery in Llantrisant is always a real pleasure, last time me and Ben enjoyed a good short session on the carp lake. The lakes are situated amongst some lovely fields and best of all its right next door to a pub!

So onto my session, i really fancied fishing a float, it is so soooo much more intriguing watching a float drift and bob on the waves instead of waiting for a feeder tip to pull round or even worse waiting for a ghastly electronic bite alarm to beep beep beep. Many fisherman have said it before me and many will say it after but there is something magical about a float dipping below the surface.

Of course, floats do have their downsides, you have to use abit more watercraft, plumbing the depth is essential and a stiff breeze can cause some serious presentation issues. You could probably write a book on shotting patterns but this is something i am sure would make tiresome reading (even more than usual), as I consider myself far from an authority on the subject I suggest finding aforementioned book and reading it cover to cover.

So finally onto my session, I initially fished the island margins at about 15 foot range but I really struggled, the wind was blowing back towards me and pulling the float out of position. Casting closer to the island resulted in a lost float and getting snapped off in a few submerged snags. I did eventually hook into a fish or two but all these takes resulted in me getting smashed up trying to bully fish away from the snags.

I eventually wised up and moved to the margin to my right; fishing under the rod tip. I had been trickling in freebies to my back up area whilst fishing the island, and it seems fish had been attracted to these offerings as i was instanlty having a few enquiries relayed to me by a wibbly wobbly float after a minute or so the float tanked under and i had a fish on. After playing the fish for a minutes or so I was convinced it was an eel. mainlybecause of the unusual fight of the fish, on my light 4lb gear it was a proper battle, and I didnt see the fish until about 10 minutes into the fight. After about 20 minutes a beautiful mirror was sliding over the rim of my net. A cracking fish on the light stuff!

I was interchanging between some krill soft hookers and single sweetcorn on the hook fished over a bed of mixed pellet and some sonubaits groundbait. I did change hook size a few times to match different baits but I eventually settled on a size 14 guru waggler hook. Combined with my little Drennan reel on my avon style quiver I eventually homed in a decent set up, and I started to connect with some good fish. The trouble was they were all carp full of spawn and the biggest was easily into double figures. Unfortunately, The closest I got to a roach, was a beautiful little rudd which was a new pb, as I can’t recall ever catching one.

It seems this trip, will fall amongst my pile of failed roach trips but I must say it has definitely been one of my  one of the finest failed trips I’ve ever been on.

Mag and wag, pellets and paste

Sunday was coarse fishing day, two pints of maggots and a couple of pellets please. The destination was the surprisingly beautiful Morgan’s Pond fishery owned by Newport Angling Association. This cracking little fishery is nestled on the western side of the city of Newport. In leafy surroundings, its a cracking little venue. The fishery consists of three lakes, the main lake, Morgan’s which is split at its narrowest point into School Pond (tiddler bashing) and Morgan’s (specimen bashing). As well as this there is a match style fishery at the front of the site called Woodstock, which I will hopefully be fishing soon.

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I’ve been doing a lot of fly fishing recently and I really fancied catching an array of species on light tackle, so I spooled up my old Drennan match reel with 4lb breaking, locked and loaded on a John Wilson Avon style quiver. Tackle in my hands I headed for School Pond. Upon arrival, I fished the margins not more than a rod length out. Classic maggot and waggler tactics, slowly building the swim until the fish were taking on the drop.

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It’s not hard fishing but its really enjoyable catching all these little beauty’s and as they say its a get scrap on light tackle. I’m no expert but this is all about slowly trickling in bait and probably the only thing which is vital to success is to ensure that you have plumbed the depth of your swim so you know your bait is just on the bottom.

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As the clock ticked by I was putting together a nice bag and it was really nice to be constantly busy; catching these little gems and setting them free. I even had a few roach, a species which I haven’t caught for ages.

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Biggest fish of the day was a bream of around the 2lb mark, probably slightly under but even this was a good little scrapper on the light stuff. It was covered in spawning nodules but still a pretty little fish.

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Whilst I didn’t manage to hook into any of the slightly larger fish I had a really great time at Morgan’s and I will definitely be returning soon to have a crack at School Pond. Being in Newport, this is of course providing that it doesn’t get nicked in my absence.

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River Frome Roach Trip

Addiction is a terrible monster, for nearly 10 ten years I have been rolling up and inhaling the sweet sweet fumes deep into my lungs, giving vital organs a nice bitumen brown paint job in the process. Despite knowing this and other associated health risks, I have been happily smoking myself into oblivion. This habit has cost me thousands, knackered out my lungs and cast me onto the edge of social circles in today’s leftie, health conscious world. I have now been smoke free for 3 weeks, well, I have been smoking a fake nicotine cigarette which you might argue is an even more retarded than smoking.Unfortunately, there is one addiction that I am showing no signs of overcoming. It’s a habit that has shrouded me in a camo’ cloak of loneliness, smashes the s**t out of my wallet and it even occasionally gives me stinky fingers…. just like smoking used to. The addiction in question is fishing and I bloody love it. I think its because fish are kind to me unlike bastard people with their mouths and their opinions.

So, as a recent none smoker the only roach on my agenda these days are of the fish variety and I know a place where there are some absolute stonkers. The River Frome in Dorset, is a beautiful chalk stream river that rises in the Dorset Downs. The river is bridged in Wareham and from this point to the rivers outlet into the sea is free fishing as with most tidal stretches of water.

I arrived in the morning shortly after high tide early in the morning even though the tides are abit strange in the area because of the Isle of Wight. The usually gin clear water had a slight Pimms colouration to it. I had originally planned to trot the stretch but instead decided to lob a feeder into the slacks by the bridge as I thought this would be a cracking holding spot for some roach and I had heard it has produced some monsters. Unfortunately, it was not to be so I kept mobile land got the hell out of there.

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I followed the river downstream for about 3/4 mile tried chucking a feeder under a few different boats and other likely fish holding features. The further down the river I got the less confident I had in finding any decent roach but I am told that bass and flounder are regularly taken from the stretch as well as sea trout and salmon. After a while I decided to turn around and head back to the bridge for Jack vs bridge Roach Round II.

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When I got back to the bridge I decided to fish the other side of it this time. The water at the time was around 2-3 foot deep with the tide coming in as I settled down to fish. I had opted for a classic red and white cocktail of maggots. Suddenly the unthinkable happened. I caught a fish. It was a salmon smolt which was a new species for me unfortunately I dropped it back into the river as I was unhooking it, slightly inconvenient as I will probably never catch one again as the salmon is one of the rarest fish in  the U.K these days. Pissed off that yet another fish had evaded one of my photo shoots, I plopped the feeder back in hoping to get another fish. Eventually the feeder tip began twitching ever so slightly and I caught another first in my fishing career.The baby sea trout shown below, what a beauty despite being about 3-4 inches long. I have actually posted this slightly out of order I am afraid as this trip actually took place about 3 weeks ago and up till this point 3 weeks ago I was balls deep in a fish drought. So as humble as this small fish may be it brought an end to the second longest “dry spell” in my life and it made a wise old angling man very happy.

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end note – it actually did make an old man very happy, he walked past and said he hadnt seen a sea trout for ages and he felt “very happy”.

A match (rod) made in Heaven

After absolutely begging and begging me for weeks I finally took my girlfriend to buy her first rod, you should have seen the smile on her face. Like a pig in s**t. Of course, no expense was spared and I immediately picked her out a Shakespeare rod and reel combo that was a bank shattering $15.69 . Now, the eagle eyed readers among you may have noticed that I  have had to put the equivalent price in dollars instead of using the Queen’s. This is because some cock in Swansea put American drivers on my laptop’s keyboard, meaning that I no longer have the pound sign in my literary arsenal. To be fair to the guy, laptop technology was only discovered in Wales like a year ago, so I suppose time is still needed to catch up with modern developments.

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I was feeling abit disillusioned with winter specimen fishing, so armed with Caitlin’s new high spec match rod and reel. We headed to Chorlton Water Park to smash out a few roach and maybe winkle out a cheeky pike with a dead bait set up on the side. Unfortunately for us, upon arrival at Chorlton Water Park we discovered that it was currently halfway through its slightly unusually timed closed season. So we packed up the rods and nipped down the road to Roman Lakes Leisure Park, in Marple near Stockport.  This venue has a main lake of around an acre or two and a second canal style match lake. The day ticket is a fiver per rod. The main lake is said to hold carp to 30lb and pike to 20 lb+ aswell as bream, perch, roach and tench. The lake is in a beautiful setting with huge amounts of wildlife, which was absolutely lovely except it was f*****g freezing again and to be honest the birds got abit annoying after about 3 seconds. I had even prepared a cheeky little bit of ground bait the night before; for the waggler fishing. This mix consisted of some bran flakes, sweetcorn, bread flakes, some carp pellets and abit of extra added sugar. I used to the sweetcorn tin juice to help get the right consistency, so the ground bait would sink and not get nabbed by the birds.

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At this point it is worth mentioning that I foolishly assumed the line supplied on a $15.69 match rod and reel combo would be a light supple 4lb number but it was an absolutely hench 8 lb-ish line. Over the 2 hours of our fishing trip, despite their obviously being fish feeding around Caitlin’s little waggler, we caught bugger all. Did have one good bite but I missed it on the strike. Duhhhh. All in all the lake is a cracking little venue and I have heard it is the home of some lovely looking carpies. Having the heavy line kinda destroyed our chances to be honest. I might return to the lake with a nice bit of 3 lb line on the spool, I think slightly warmer water would likely cause some fish to feed and if not it would at least be nice if half the water isn’t frozen. I also think the fish might be more tempted by some red maggot instead of sweetcorn but I haven’t found a vendor yet in the whole of Manchester. Call me old fashioned but I think its wierd you can buy lamb brains in Asda’s but you cant buy maggots for fishing. Thatcher’s Britain.

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