Big Roach are booming

A week of incredible roach catches has been topped by Darryn Stolworthy’s 3lb 3oz giant from a Cambridgeshire stillwater.

Darryn is one of many anglers taking advantage of the resurgence of redfins in UK waters, and has enjoyed a remarkable month on the bank.

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Speaking exclusively to Angling Times, he said: “What a few weeks I’ve had! I’ve never caught a 2lb roach before but over this time I’ve had seven 2lb-plus fish and now this beast of 3lb 3oz.

“Big roach fishing is a bit of a learning curve, and I was getting bites but not converting as many hook-ups as I wanted. I decided to change things, including my hooklink and hook, and I seem to have managed to fool them.”

Darryn’s successful set-up for the shy-biting species consisted of a size 14 Drennan wide gape hook and a 5lb Supplex hooklink. Hookbait was three or four maggots in conjunction with a maggot feeder, cast to the bottom of a drop-off at 30 yards range. 

A part of what makes the consistent catches of roach so encouraging is that reports are flooding in nationwide.

It was an Oxfordshire stillwater that provided Coventry rod Dave Brice with a dream personal best-equalling roach of 2lb 13oz.

He told Angling Times: “I had already taken a smaller roach of 1lb 7oz earlier on in the session but this fish felt altogether different. It was a wonderful sight to see as the fish slid over the rim and was engulfed in the mesh. I’m full of anticipation for my next trip.”

Dave’s lovely fish was caught on a Kamasan Black Cap maggot feeder with maggots on a size 16 hook, a presentation that he cast to a patch of gravel alongside a weed bed at 45 yards. 

It’s not just big individual specimens being caught either – incredible match hauls of redfins are being reported too. 

One match venue in fine roach form is the River Wye in Hereford, where 30lb-plus bags have been taken. One angler who knows this river inside out is Hadrian Whittle, and commenting after this year’s Wye Festival he said: “The roach are an enigma. Recent conditions have been perfect for these fish – which I believe are always present in the area. 

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“I also believe that the large numbers of chub and dace in the river have caused an increase in competition for food – which forces the roach into feeding.”