2014 ends on a big-roach high

Big running water roach may be few and far between, but two anglers have this week caught personal best fish from rivers at opposite ends of the country.

Joe Parody came within 1oz of breaking the 3lb-barrier with a huge 2lb 15oz roach from the River Ribble in Lancashire.

The local 63-year-old had originally planned to spend the day at a local stillwater, but a heavy frost prompted a last minute change of plans.

“A quick check of the Environment Agency website confirmed that the river was dropping nicely after the recent rain so I decided to try my luck for running water roach instead,” Joe told Angling Times.

Casting a maggot feeder to a crease three quarters of the way across he’d netted a grayling of 1lb 12oz and several chub to 3lb when he received the all-important bite.

“The fish fought much harder than the chub of a similar size,” he said. “It broke my previous best for the species of 2lb 9oz which I caught from the River Ribble a few years ago. I’m so glad I caught this fish from running water as it means so much more to me than if I’d had it from a stillwater,” added Joe, who used a size 14 Drennan Super Specialist hook and a 4lb fluorocarbon hooklink.

Further south, Gary Springett landed a 2lb 4oz roach from the River Test.

Fishing under the expert guidance of Tim Lennon – the coarse fishing guide on the Nursling and Testwood beats of the Hampshire waterway – he banked the impressive redfin on a floatfished piece of breadflake mounted on a size 12 hook and 3lb line.

He said: “The fish equalled my roach personal best but is by far the biggest I’ve ever caught from running water.”

Anyone interested in booking a guiding session with Tim can contact him on timlennon.home@talktalk.net

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