Come and catch a monster roach

One of the nation’s favourite fisheries is calling for specimen anglers to come and catch its massive roach, claiming some huge fish are being ‘ignored’.
Just two weeks after being voted ‘Stillwater of the Year’ in the Angling Times 2015 National Angling Awards, the famous Linear Fisheries in Oxfordshire is eager to shake off its reputation of being a carp-only complex.
Venue bosses have also revealed that 2015 has been its best-ever year for catches of specimen redfins.
The biggest fish banked so far this year was a 3lb 2oz specimen recently taken by a carp angler fishing Brasenose 2, and many other specimens over 2lb have also been caught from its other popular venues Oxlease, Hardwick and Brasenose 1.
“Most people think our waters are just about carp, but they all hold really big roach and it’s such a shame that no one comes and fishes for them,” said Linear Fisheries’ head bailiff Ian Roper.
“Fish over 3lb are caught every year and one of the biggest I’ve heard of is a 3lb 12oz specimen out of B1. That is a massive roach and a possible record breaker now.
“Anglers who want to target big roach are welcome to come down and fish any of our day-ticket waters for the species, and they must not be intimidated by squeezing in between bivvies.
“Not only do we want more general coarse anglers fishing here, we also wish to find out how big the roach actually grow, because I wouldn’t be surprised if there are a few real monsters.”
One UK specialist who already loves to target other species at Linear is big-fish legend Dai Gribble, who not only catches its resident tench, but is well aware of the roach fishing potential.
He’s already been in contact with Ian to organise a roach fishing session and is extremely excited at the prospect.
“Linear is the most welcoming big-fish complex in the UK, and if you like fishing for big roach you’d be mad not to go and have a go for them,” Dai told Angling Times.
“It’s getting towards the best time of year to target the species and all the waters at Linear have really great potential.”
Despite 2015 already seeing several big roach reported to Ian and his team, Dai claims this is only the tip of the iceberg, since many more  big roach get caught by accident by carpers and get slipped back unreported.
This is a common theme that runs throughout commercial fisheries across the land.
Countless waters that many favour for specimen carp also have a growing reputation for producing huge roach, which are now a viable target for anglers looking to set a new personal best.
Leading fisheries consultant, fish farmer and owner of the highly-respected AE Fisheries, Andrew Ellis, has not only personally netted huge roach from many well-known carp waters such as Horseshoe Lake in Gloucestershire, but he also prides himself on nurturing and growing on big stillwater redfins.
“There are many factors that contribute to the growth of huge roach in carp waters,” said Andrew.
“The first is that it’s common to have really big roach and then fry because those in between are often thinned out through predation.
“At venues like Linear spodding with particles is very popular and I’ve seen the water exploding with roach and rudd while working at places like this. This abundance of food, and the fact that carp waters tend to be larger venues, mean that roach have space to thrive….especially the really big ones.
“Ian has already mentioned that big roach at Linear are widely neglected and this is another reason why they grow so big – they don’t take kindly to being put in and out of keepnets all of their lives, as they tend to be in smaller commercially run waters.”


Name: Linear Fisheries
Location: Stanton Harcourt, Oxfordshire
Number of lakes: 11
Day-ticket venues: Brasenose 1, Brasenose 2, Hardwick Lake and Smiths Pool, Hunts Corner Lake, Hunts Corner Pond, Manor Farm Lake, Oxlease Lake, St Johns Lake
Contact: or 01908 588043