10 OF THE BEST ROACH FISHING TIPS

10 OF THE BEST ROACH FISHING TIPS

by Angling Times |

There are few finer sights in angling than a specimen roach, or a net of silvers caught on a freezing cold day. To help you have a better chance of catching your best-ever roach we've asked Paul Garner about his top roach fishing bait tips.

I reckon roach are making a very welcome comeback, although often they go unnoticed until caught by accident by carp, bream and barbel anglers.

These accidental catches, though, hint at the fact that rather than being the delicate feeders that we once believed, roach are in fact catchable on a much wider range of baits and tactics.

Choosing the right tactic is key, and it’s surprising how roach in various venues can behave very differently, especially to baits.

Follow my tips and you won’t go far wrong, wherever you may choose to fish.

1) FRESH IS BEST

maggots for roach

Roach are one species where I think it is essential to keep your maggots in top condition.

The fresher and softer the bait, the more roach you will catch – it’s as simple as that.

Ask your local tackle shop when they get their maggot deliveries and try to buy yours soon after they arrive.

I then riddle off any sawdust and replace it with maize flour, which softens their skins and gives you the best bait possible.

2) BIG BAITS FOR BIG FISH

The helicopter rig is brilliant forlong-range fishing

On venues that contain a lot of roach, including some big ones, the easiest way to sort out the specimens is to use a larger bait.

A 2lb roach can easily handle a lobworm, double sweetcorn or a 10mm boilie. You won’t get many bites, but when you do it will definitely be worth the wait!

3) THE HELICOPTER RIG SCORES AT RANGE

THE HELICOPTER RIG SCORES AT RANGE

Gravel pit and reservoir roach fishing often means fishing with maggots at ranges well beyond floatfishing distance.

One rig stands above all others for this type of fishing – the helicopter rig, incorporating a Kamasan Black Cap feeder and a 4ins hooklength, baited with maggots.

Remember to clip-up the line so that you are fishing to exactly the same distance on every cast, and re-bait every 20 minutes in order to build up a tight patch of free offerings on the lakebed.

4) FISH PELLETS LIKE HEMP

FISH PELLETS LIKE HEMP

On commercial and carp fisheries roach see an awful lot of pellets in one form or another, and are not slow to latch on to this nutritious food source.

I have had some lovely roach sessions fishing with expander pellets under a fine pole float fished in the margins on venues like this.

Expect to miss plenty of bites, though, as this is very similar to hemp fishing. My advice is to use the softest pellets that you can, as the roach will hang on to these for a fraction of a second longer.

5) TRY A METHOD FEEDER

TRY A METHOD FEEDER

The Method has dominated fishing for many species, and it has transformed big roach fishing too.

At Lochnaw, in Scotland, this tactic sorted out the specimens – I used a combination of crushed hemp and Dynamite Baits’ roach mix on the feeder to land fish to over 2lb.

6) HIT MORE WITH MAGGOTS

HIT MORE WITH MAGGOTS

This old dace fishing trick can be just as useful when you’re after roach.

If you are missing bites when fishing a single maggot, try hooking a maggot through the middle instead of the end. This will often see your catch rate soar.

7) USE A DEDICATED MIX

USE A DEDICATED MIX

Many companies produce a dedicated roach groundbait, often loaded with crushed hemp, brown crumb and even rock salt, plus a host of herbs and spices.

These mixes are very effective, but

I often like to mix them with some fishmeal-based groundbait too, as there is no doubt that roach love the combination.

A 50-50 mix is a good starting point, with four tangerine-sized balls introduced at the start of a session to kick-start the swim.

8) BREAD IN RIVERS

bread in rivers

Roach in rivers and lakes are almost like two completely different species.

Stillwater roach can be incredibly picky, whereas their river cousins will eat a far wider range of baits with gusto. Take bread, for example.

For river roaching a piece of flake and a feeder filled with liquidised crumb is often my opening gambit.

Try the same tactics on stillwaters and you are likely to wait a very long time for a bite.

9) SPICE THEM UP

SPICE THEM UP

Turmeric not only gives maggots a curry-like smell, but darkens their skins to a bronze colour.

Why roach like this flavour so much I don’t know, but a teaspoonful added to each pint of maggots can definitely give your bait a boost, especially when the water is very cold.

You can buy this excellent additive in your local supermarket.

10) HEMP IS A MUST

HEMP IS A MUST

Having filmed roach ‘feeding’ on hemp I am sure that they spit most of it out because of the hard shell. The same grain may be picked up by several fish before finally being eaten.

This behaviour, I am sure, explains why bites when hemp fishing can be very fast and difficult to hit.

You can’t get away from the fact that roach love the taste of hemp, though, and so it is a must in all of my roach fishing.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us