Anglers enjoying excellent river roach sport

MATT Jackson set himself the target of catching a 2lb-plus roach this winter - and he achieved his goal with this fine 2lb 12oz specimen from the Hampshire Avon last week.

While most anglers stayed indoors to shelter from the recent icy blast, the Salisbury-based factory worker made the short trip to his local stretch of the waterway and was rewarded with a brace of redfins for over 4lb.

With heavy rain putting a bit of colour back in the water he headed to an area where he’d caught fish to 1lb 13oz a few days earlier.

“The levels hadn’t risen at all but after half an hour without any twitches I was beginning to wonder whether or not the roach were still in the area,” the 25-year-old told Angling Times.

Any doubts were dismissed, however, when two quick taps on his rod tip saw him connect with a decent fish.

“After a tense battle in the flow I slipped the net under a roach which I knew would beat my target. Sure enough it tipped the scales to 2lb 12oz and I couldn’t have been happier.”

The action didn’t end there though, with a second of specimen of 1lb 6oz falling to his tactics which consisted of a single maggot on a size 14 Drennan Wide Gape Specialist hook and a 3lb Supplex hooklink over a bed of liquidised bread and CC Moore Intense Hemp.

Another angler to land a brace of big river roach was Tom Marshall who broke his personal best with a 2lb specimen from a stretch of the River Thames close to his Oxford home.

Having taken a 1lb 12oz fish on a large piece of feeder-fished breadflake, he rebaited and it didn’t take long for his new pb to fall for the trap.

“There has been a boom of big roach in the waterway and I’ve come close to a new best several times but always fallen short. As soon as I saw this one in the bottom of the net I knew I’d finally cracked it,” said Tom.