How to fish casters for commercial roach

Cameron Hughes reckons there’s nothing to touch them for big fish

How to fish casters for commercial roach

by Angling Times |

There’s no better bait for catching big roach than casters. Those crunchy shells strike a chord with quality fish on almost any venue you care to name.

I’ve caught big roach on them from narrow canals, big rivers, Irish loughs and on the Continent. Just what it is that they love about casters we’ll never know – what I do know is that they’re all I’ll take for picking off a string of ‘netters’.

On a typical commercial where the water is relatively shallow and, of course, not moving, they’re just unbeatable.

Here's how to get the best results with them...

There’s no better bait for catching big roach than casters
There’s no better bait for catching big roach than casters

Light floats a must

A light float ensures good presentation. Even with a bit of wind, a 4x12 Carpa F1 Pellet is ideal. On the deck this changes to a 0.3g Carpa Short for a little more stability.

Light floats a must
Light floats a must

Never stop feeding

I’ll throw in 20-30 casters every drop in to bring the roach up in the water or lay down a bed of bait. Stop feeding and the better fish will vanish, so keep up the regime.

Never stop feeding
Never stop feeding

Vary the depth

Roach can feed anywhere from a few inches off the bottom to just under the surface. If I’m not catching quality fish at one depth, I’ll shallow up inch by inch until I make contact.

Vary the depth
Vary the depth

Get some bait down

To start, in go two balls of sweet fishmeal groundbait holding a few casters and maggots on both lines. I’ll top up only if bites cease, or I’m catching a tiny stamp of fish.

Get some bait down
Get some bait down

Deal with rogue carp

There’s no reason why you shouldn’t land carp if your rigs are well balanced. A 0.14mm mainline, a 0.10mm hooklength and a size 18 hook can land double-figure fish.

Deal with rogue carp
Deal with rogue carp

Fish a second line

A second line fished on the deck with just a top kit can be worth trying. On this lake there are loads of ‘pommies’ - silver bream-like fish which are good weight-builders.

Fish a second line
Fish a second line
A fine net of silvers for Cameron on the ever-reliable shells
A fine net of silvers for Cameron on the ever-reliable shells
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