Catch bigger roach shallow

Kayleigh Dowd shares her secrets to picking out the big fish in a shoal

Catch bigger roach shallow

by Angling Times |

There are few more frustrating things than shipping the pole out to 16m and seeing the float bury, only to find a tiny roach hanging on the end!

While plenty of bites are welcome, it can be irritating when you know that bigger fish are about but the tiddlers won’t let them get a look-in.

The solutions to this problem are many, but there’s one thing I can do that I know will let me pick off those bigger roach, and that’s to come shallow.

By ‘shallow’, though, I’m not talking 1ft under the surface, more somewhere around mid-depth where I think the quality roach will be – above the little ones ready to get at the bait first.

Here's how I do it...

There’s one thing I can do that I know will let me pick off those bigger roach, and that’s to come shallow
There’s one thing I can do that I know will let me pick off those bigger roach, and that’s to come shallow

Never stop feeding

You’re aiming to slowly pull fish in, rather than putting in one big hit of bait. That means firing in a dozen maggots every drop-in, or every minute if you’re not fishing that line.

Never stop feeding
Never stop feeding

Start on the deck

I’ll kick off on the deck, and a golf ball of groundbait (SonuBaits F1 Black and Thatcher’s) goes in so that I can fish over this and catch before coming off-bottom.

Start on the deck
Start on the deck

Shorten the elastic

I run Slip No3 elastic through just one section of my top kit so I can swing roach in quicker. Set on the loose side, it won’t bump fish off on the strike or lose them as I’m shipping back.

Shorten the elastic
Shorten the elastic

Use the right float

When you do go off the deck, switch your float. My favourite is a 3x8 Chianti, taking just three No12 shot, which gives a really slow fall of the bait, right in the loosefeed.

Use the right float
Use the right float

Fish fine!

Even if the lake is full of roach, you still need to fish relatively fine. Hooklengths are 3ins of 0.08mm Powerline to 0.13mm mainline, finished with a size 18 SFL-B hook.

Fish fine!
Fish fine!

Have a ‘resting’ line

Having a second swim is vital. This is in open water at around 12m and, with an eye on bigger fish, I’d feed groundbait and some micros here, with a maggot on the hook.

Have a ‘resting’ line
Have a ‘resting’ line
Big roach figure in a mixed net of silvers for Kayleigh
Big roach figure in a mixed net of silvers for Kayleigh
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