A Rush of Roach


Having opened the new season with a blank on the Kennet, I chose to switch my attentions from barbel fishing to a spot of trotting on the Thames. The river was in good nick for float fishing, the recent rains putting a good flow on. In fact it would have been ideal for a spot of centre-pin fishing, if only I’d had one with me.

Feeding hemp and maggots, and starting with a single maggot on a size 20 hook, I only managed to catch a few bleak in the first half-hour. A change to double maggot immediately produced the first roach of the day, and after that, the roach started to come reasonably regularly throughout the rest of the session.

Here be Roach

Here be Roach

Last season, this stretch was alive with dace and was virtually a fish a chuck, but this year the dace have all but disappeared, to be replaced by roach. About 3 hours into the session, a pike started to have a go at some of the fish I’d hooked and I lost some to it. This was similar to last year’s trotting sessions on the stretch. I didn’t see the fish, but it felt considerably larger than any of the pike I caught on lures last year.

I finished a very enjoyable session with 46 roach, mostly in the 3-4 ozs mark, with a few going 6-8 ozs. I also caught a few hybrids.

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