This weekend was one that i had been waiting for with particular anticipation, 48hours of Roach fishing on a lake which would probably give me the best chance of landing a 2lb+ specimen that ive ever had in all my years of angling. Id heard about the place on the grapevine about 18 months ago and fellow SVSG member Rob had already been for a taster session last year, landing some cracking fish including a 2lber. The venue is a three hour drive from my house and with big Roach being a bit thin on the ground in my locality it was time to bite the bullet and get my arse down there.
Rob joined me for this one and we set off at 3.30am with the intention of arriving as the gates opened at 7. After an uneventful drive we arrived a bit earlier than expected which gave us a bit of time to walk around the lake and select a couple of likely swims. There had been a hard frost overnight but even so there was a few Roach topping in the middle which served boost the old confidence a bit. There was five Carp anglers on but they were still in bed so we couldnt tap them up for any info. Shortly afterwards the bailiff opened up and as we paid him he informed us that a 2lb Roach had been caught the previous weekend so there was one or two showing.
As we setup the sun made an appearance and the frost began to disappear quite quickly . I went about setting my house up first but Rob had his rods out before anything else and it paid off because he landed a 1lb9oz fish before id even cast in! "Good here innit?" he grinned.
After the early success there was no more action for an hour or so until my right hand rod signalled a bite and i ended up bumping the fish on the strike. We were both using bolt feeder rigs with tiny hooks and it soon became apparent that if we struck then the fish would invariably bump off as i found out to my cost on my next bite too. A gentle lift into the fish was what was called for and i soon landed a pristine bar of silver which weighed 1lb5oz, only an ounce off my pb!
With one apiece under our belts we settled down and concentrated on getting some bait out in front of us. All 4 rods were fished at the same range, about 30 yards, and spread along a strip about 30 yards long. We had a gallon of maggots between us and we were recasting the feeders every 20 minutes to build up a carpet of feed. Thankfully the lake only contains a few small Roach aswell has the big ones otherwise it could have been a bit of a nightmare fishing single maggots on the hook like we were doing. My next bite a couple of hours later turned out to be a new PB of 1lb7oz, it was another pristine specimen and i was over the moon!
A quickfire fish of 1lb4oz followed within minutes leaving me gobsmacked at the sheer size and quality of the fish present in this water. As the day began to turn to night, Rob had added a couple more pound plus fish to his tally and we both had a couple of tiddlers too. Rob assured me that the place really came alive at night and sure enough from about 7pm onwards we had several bites in quick succession.
I had another PB at 1lb8oz and Rob had a Stunning brace of 1lb13oz and 2lb3oz, the 2lber being a new PB for him. The sky was very clear and the weather was shaping up for another frost so it was really quite bitter and I finished the night off with a 3lb Carp before retiring to bed and warmth. At 3am i was awoken by a Carper in the peg next door who was trying to land a fish which had swam along the bank and through my line. It was quickly sorted though and i was soon taking pics of a nice 20lb Common. As a bonus though the sky had clouded up and the temperature was on the rise.
The next day began very slowly and after missing a bite first thing it was a couple of hours before i had another which resulted in another Carp hooked. This one was a bit bigger than my 3lber from the night before and i never really stood a chance with a size 18 hook and a 2lb bottom. Suffice to say it led me a merry dance before breaking me off.
At about mid morning i hit into another Roach which felt a lot better than the others id had, taking line from the off. After a quick tussle it was obvious that this was a better fish and upon peering into the net i knew id finally caught what id came for. The scales registered 2lb2oz, i was blown away.
It was a magnificent fish in every way, and even as i write this now im still a bit shell shocked that ive caught a 2lber, happy days indeed.
Anyway, back to the session, that fish signalled the start of quite a lull and it was late afternoon before we started getting bites again. A flurry of tiny Roach saw us into darknes which is when once again Robs swim really came to the fore. He went on to land something like 20 more Roach over the pound mark between six and midnight, no more 2lbers though. I had a fish of 1lb10oz plus some tiddlers to round my day off .
After a good nights kip and an early rise it was time to pack up the gear ready for the long drive back. I recast the rods just before i started to tidy my stuff up in the hope of a last gasp lump. Once eveything had been put away i picked up my left hand rod and packed it away, just as i put it in the bag the other signalled a bite and i found myself connected to a Carp. With nothing to lose i decided to take my time with it on the light gear (2lb bottom) and couldnt believe it when i eventually landed it, a great way to end a great session!