It was good Friday and a day off work had me itching to wet a line. The weather predictions were not great for Carp fishing, so I thought I’d weigh up the options.
I decided to fish a small commercial lake (about 2 acres), that is quite close to my house called Paradise Lodge. I had heard rumours of a Perch that had been caught of over 4 pound and that there was a also chance of a nice Roach or two. My original plan was to have one rod for Carp and the other for Perch.
After a few issues, I arrived at the lake slightly later than planned but still only about 9 ish. As the lake was quite small I decided that the best idea was to set up in a likely looking Carp or Perch area and move frequently if nothing happened.
I cast a simple, small pva bag containing maggots and crumbed Berkely Gulp Carp coco and bannana boilies towards a likely looking carp holding area and quickly set up my float rod to target some perch. This consisted of 6 pound line straight through to a size 10 carp hook and I used a 0.5g float. This was all set up so the float was balanced nicely but the bait, which was a lob worm, was fished over depth to try and minimise resistance.
After about 45 mins nothing had happened on either rod, but I had noticed a few roach in the area. I wasn’t really geared up for Roach fishing but with nothing happening on either the Perch or Carp front, the urge to try and catch one got the better of me.
I reeled in and put a double red Maggot on the hook, that had been coated in the coco and banana crumb. Now I realised that the tackle I was using would usually be far to heavy to target roach but my theory was that the lake was quite cloudy, so the thick line should not be a problem, and with two large maggots on a big hook, I should only get bites off the larger of the roach.
I also had an idea that if I could draw some roach into the area by throwing in plenty of maggots and boilie crumb, then this might also attract the Perch.
What I wasn’t prepared for was just how successful my roach targeting would be. After about 10 mins of a little and often baiting approach, I got a good bite and lifted into a nice roach which weighed just under a pound. I put the rod back into the same area, about 4 foot from the bank at the bottom of the slope, and quickly got another bite. This one pulled a lot harder and after a short fight, I netted a superb Roach of 1 pound 11 ounces.
I continued this approach and caught two more roach over a pound until the action died off. This suggested to me that maybe the Perch had moved in, so off came the maggots and on went a lob worm.
I gave it about an hour but after only a couple of very small Perch and a few nervous bobs on the float, I decide to switch back to the Roach fishing and very shortly had another two fish over the 1lb mark on the bank. The Perch didn’t seem to be playing the game, but I was already building up a very nice catch of Roach.
In a last ditch effort for Perch, I put on a small spinner and lob worm combination and decided to go mobile and move from swim to swim. If a four pounder had come out of this venue, then while I was here, I certainly wanted to have a decent stab at it.
Again the Perch were just not interested and after covering most of the lake, I decided to spend the rest of the session getting after some more roach. As I made my way back to my original swim I saw some Roach top in an area a few swims down. As before I put out the rod baited again with double red maggot coated in coco and banana boilie crumb and tried the little and often approach again with the free feed.
Once again this seemed to turn the Roach on and before long I had 2 more in the net. One was quite small but the other was just over a pound. But then, just as before, the swim died off again.
This time however, I stuck at it and decided to keep baiting rather than switching to the Perch tactics. And soon enough, I had another bite and another roach just over a pound. I was over the moon, I never thought I would have this many big Roach in one session. Not monsters but when Roach get over the pound mark, they look beautiful and take on a whole new appearance.
I was very happy with the day but just as I thought it couldn’t get any better, I had one more bite which resulted in the second biggest one of the day at 1 pound 9 ounces.
Eight Roach over a pound in a single session, I went home a very happy man.
Who would have thought that a so called nuisance fish would give a Carp angler a day they will never forget? I will certainly be giving other species a go in the future and so should you.
Hopefully in time these Roach will start topping the 2lb mark and then the potential would be incredible. Commercial water Roach certainly seem to be getting bigger. Perhaps they are switching onto the high protein foods and all year round feeding. If you have a commercial lake near you that most target for Carp, I’d certainly suggest giving Roach fishing a look.