2lb-plus roach from River Thames and Hampshire Avon

Barbel and chub have dominated the headlines since the start of season but this week has seen a string of huge roach caught from two of the nation’s waterways.

River fishing fanatic, Kevin Palmer, banked five specimens over 2lb from the Hampshire Avon with the biggest topping the scales at an impressive 2lb 5oz.

Specimen redfins are notoriously hard to catch, so the 33-year-old from Swindon fished a simple blockend feeder filled with a pinch of hempseed coupled with a 0.09 mm hooklink and a size 20 hook.

His winning hookbait was a single tare cast tight to an overhanging tree on the far bank where he’d spotted fish showing.

“I dropped my stuff off in the swim and stalked around to the tree on the far side and I saw a huge roach. I thought it was a bream until I saw the red fins - it must have been 3lb at least,” Kevin told Angling Times.

“Unfortunately, I lost that particular fish, but who can complain about a catch like this as it’s so rare to catch so many fish over 2lb these days.

“I went back to the river a few days later and also banked a brace of roach weighing 2lb 2oz and 2lb. It’s been incredible.”

Moving on to the River Thames, Nick Brown used long trotting tactics off the back of his boat and as the sun set the tip of his float disappeared and he struck into a stunning 2lb 9oz personal best.

At first he thought his maggot hookbait had been taken by a large chub, but it didn’t take the quantity surveyor long to realise that he’d set his size 20 hook into a fish-of-a-lifetime.

“My legs went to jelly when the fish popped up and I realised what I’d caught. This is a personal best that I’ doubt I’ll break for a very long time.” said Nick.

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