More anglers join 2lb roach hall of fame

To catch a 2lb river roach is seen as ‘the holy grail’ for many anglers but to catch one on float tackle is special – this week two anglers joined this exclusive club.
Roach fanatic Billy McDonald used traditional trotting tactics with stick float and maggot on the River Test at Timsbury to bank a haul of big roach topped by a 2lb 8oz specimen.
The Milton Keynes angler made the long drive to the Hampshire venue a trip to remember when he netted roach of 1lb 1oz, 1lb 2oz and 1lb 10oz, followed by his biggest, which was just 1oz off his personal best.
However, the day could have been even better for Billy had he not lost an even bigger fish at the net.
 “I lost two other fish that looked about the same size as the two-pounder, along with a third fish that was much bigger. I was gutted at the time, but to catch so many stunning roach in a day made this one of my best-ever trips,” he said.
Billy caught all his fish, along with dozens of trout and grayling, by targeting a 7ft-deep glide with red maggots as feed and on the hook.
 His stick float rig was made up of 4lb reel line with an olivette positioned a couple of feet above a 2.5lb hooklength and a size 16 hook.
Big-fish man Lee Chatfield also used trotting tactics to bank a stunning 2lb 3oz roach.
The Sonubaits-backed specialist from Sussex  fished an unnamed chalk stream where, like Billy, he also used a stick float and maggots to record a bulging 65lb net of dace, perch and barbel to go with what is his first-ever 2lb river roach.
Lee’s tackle consisted of a 14ft Drennan Acolyte float rod, a Dave Harrell 12xNo4 alloy stick float, 3lb mainline, a 0.11mm Powerline hooklength and size 18 Drennan Wide Gape match hook.
Both fish follow the captures of a number of big redfins since the turn of the month.
The best of these was a 3lb 8oz monster landed by carp angler Jake Baxter from the Norfolk Broads last week.