With the opening of the southern end of the dam wall, coarse anglers visiting Derwent Reservoir in Northumberland, have been taking full advantage and sacking up on nets to 30lb of prime roach.
The 1000-acre venue, which has some of the most stunning views an angler could wish for, is absolutely stuffed with roach and now is a good a time as any to go and enjoy the prolific sport. The complex is known more for its fly sport, making it one of the north-easts best kept secrets for coarse fishermen as few anglers tend to fish it for the roach.
Specimens to 12oz are coming out from every peg on the dam wall, with the groundbait feeder the top tactic. A 30-yard chuck is all you need to put yourself on the roach so the best approach is to start with a medium-large feeder filled with a slightly darkened sweet roach mix and once the fish start feeding switch to the bomb for ease of catching. When bites dry up switch back to the feeder once more to attract more fish in to the swim and this should see you start catching again. If trout move into your peg, the trick is to cast a further 5 yards beyond your feed and there you will find the roach again. Some anglers like to use the pole but as catapults are banned and balling in is not permitted it is far easier to catch on the quiver or swingtip. On the hook, most anglers prefer double or triple maggot but other baits can work too including caster or corn.
The venue fishes at its best on cloudier days especially when there is a ripple on the water but even in the worst conditions you can still expect bags of 20lb most of the year.
Derwent Reservoir, Northumberland
Prices: £10 a day from the lodge
Contact: 01207 255250
Location: Derwent Reservoir, Castleside, Northumberland, DH8 9TT
Facilities: Shop (no coarse tackle or bait) parking, disabled access
Rules: No catapults, No groundbait balling in