Finding river and canal roach in winter

smiffy

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Donnington tends to fish up until about now then goes quite second half the winter once the floods and cold have taken their toll. It didn’t even make it into winter this year though. Don’t get me wrong you’re still more likely to catch there than anywhere else but it’s not up to much unless you find the bream. Clifton has apparently fished as well as anywhere this winter.

If we get a mild spell whilst the rivers back in its banks lots of places will become half decent again just these days such spells are getting few and far between once November is done. Tends to be flood followed by frosts on loop.
It’s been a few years since I packed up matchfishing but I often crossed paths with Thames regulars. They used to rave about some of the Winter Roach fishing. Yes the sections that held fish were either too small or unsuitable for matches, for whatever reason, but they used to get some cracking nets of Roach. More than likely in better conditions than we have now👍
 

Silverfisher

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It’s been a few years since I packed up matchfishing but I often crossed paths with Thames regulars. They used to rave about some of the Winter Roach fishing. Yes the sections that held fish were either too small or unsuitable for matches, for whatever reason, but they used to get some cracking nets of Roach. More than likely in better conditions than we have now👍
Yeah my grandads always said it used to be a year round fishery but it certainly doesn’t seem to be anymore in the last couple decades. He reckons it’s simply because the winter weather lurches from one extreme to the other so much these days that the fish never settle.

It’s weird though as just up the road on the Ouse and Avon they still fish year round. Better in the summer and autumn still and they’re still not as consistent as the Thames at such times but they are much better than it in the winter. I think it’s because they run off quicker and have less water to warm up. Plus being smaller the fish are never so far away I guess lol
 
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mike fox

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I'm guessing another thread on air pressure effects on Roach is due. So I'll start the ball rolling. Roach in particular are just bags of air and water. They are very much affected with air pressure changes. With our turbulent weather patterns during the winter and now more often during the summer months, Roach, being mid-water feeders seek comfort. The air pressure seems to fluctuate less around bridges and so the Roach feel more settled. Roach can more often than not be caught around bridges or any man made structures in winter. That is what I always taught my coarse angling students anyway.
 

smiffy

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Yeah. To the OP. Any bridge over a river is likely to hold Roach. Anywhere that sees a bit of bankside traffic like close to locks/weirs or floodgates. On canals look for sections that run through industrial areas,particularly where the opposite bank is the wall to a unit or large building. It’s always great to have a nice,uniform reflection to spot your bites in but Roach seem to like these areas. Town center parks are brilliant,especially if people feed the ducks there. It will be solid with Roach.
 
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derwentboy

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This is a good thread....Talking of finding roach on a canal..is it worthwhile thinking about which areas get the most amount of sunlight and are least exposed to winds? Like a perfect combination would be a deep sheltered mooring area that's south facing....and an area where bread for ducks might be going in? Am trying to picture our local cut in my head now
 

robert d

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This is a good thread....Talking of finding roach on a canal..is it worthwhile thinking about which areas get the most amount of sunlight and are least exposed to winds? Like a perfect combination would be a deep sheltered mooring area that's south facing....and an area where bread for ducks might be going in? Am trying to picture our local cut in my head now
I would say yes to all ,shade away from predatory birds ,warmer water out of winds ,any features to hide away can all play a part and any place where free offerings or food washed in . In very clear water all of the above ,plus they will shoal up somewhere safest as safety in numbers is prominent in the animal kingdom .
 

PearTree

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It’s been a few years since I packed up matchfishing but I often crossed paths with Thames regulars. They used to rave about some of the Winter Roach fishing. Yes the sections that held fish were either too small or unsuitable for matches, for whatever reason, but they used to get some cracking nets of Roach. More than likely in better conditions than we have now👍
I remember fishing a few matches at Lechlade in the winter when I lived in Swindon. The fish were shoaled up mainly in the stretch above the bridge. Below the bridge and the various other stretches of the Upper Thames we fished in the summer and Autumn seemed to be devoid of fish in the winter with the exception of the odd chub.
 

Jonathan Sutcliffe-Bland

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This is a good thread....Talking of finding roach on a canal..is it worthwhile thinking about which areas get the most amount of sunlight and are least exposed to winds? Like a perfect combination would be a deep sheltered mooring area that's south facing....and an area where bread for ducks might be going in? Am trying to picture our local cut in my head now
Personally I'm hoping boats will be stopped on the canal in lockdown but fishing allowed. I'll then head to the local locks as that's the only part I can safely social distance at. The flow oxygenates the water plus it's deep and ice free. No pole needed! My trusty cadence #1 11' float rod matched to my centrepin reel. Simply trotting bread for Roach and Bream 👍🏻
 

mickthechippy

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Personally I'm hoping boats will be stopped on the canal in lockdown but fishing allowed. I'll then head to the local locks as that's the only part I can safely social distance at. The flow oxygenates the water plus it's deep and ice free. No pole needed! My trusty cadence #1 11' float rod matched to my centrepin reel. Simply trotting bread for Roach and Bream 👍🏻
as an ask dude, if theres no boats and the locks dont open

where does the flow come from
 

Robwooly

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This is a good thread....Talking of finding roach on a canal..is it worthwhile thinking about which areas get the most amount of sunlight and are least exposed to winds? Like a perfect combination would be a deep sheltered mooring area that's south facing....and an area where bread for ducks might be going in? Am trying to picture our local cut in my head now
I would say no, apart from the duck feeding bit. From experience I can say it is almost (Sods)law that on the coldest most windswept day the fish will be in the only spot where it blasts through arctic style, no sun, no shelter. The amount of times you get fish in a spot where you think why don't you just go over there where it's warm and sunny, seems no logic in it at the time especially when your faced with the blank here or go there and catch scenario, you find yourself asking if is it all worth it for a few roach.

Think there's logic in that the sun won't warm up certain areas on a canal or river as the water is moving so the shady areas would have the same water temps as sunny bits, also most fish don't like bright light if the water has any clarity especially when cold and crisp.

Bridges always seem the best bet regardless of venue and re The Thames I always found the lock cuts better in winter, most times the main channel was as Silverfisher says blank central
 

JayD

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as an ask dude, if theres no boats and the locks dont open

where does the flow come from
I think Jonathan might be referring to the flow from the bywash, (or as we used to call it the 'dogwash' because the bodies of the dead dogs used to end up there). The canal is constantly getting fresh water from various streams etc, and the bywash is to prevent the top pound from over flowing when the locks are closed. It's usually just above the top lock, on the opposite side to the towpath. A sill about a foot or so below the canal bank, allows the excess water to flow over it, and is channelled down past the locks, to an opening about 2 or 3 feet square. Fish congregate in this well oxygenated water, and it can be a real hot spot in warm weather, and when the canal is part frozen. It's only really practical to fish there in times of low boat traffic numbers, because the constant opening and closing of the locks, as well as the boats mooring below the locks at busy times, causes too much disturbance.

John.
 

mike fox

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Compound outlets and inlets maybe

I think Jonathan might be referring to the flow from the bywash, (or as we used to call it the 'dogwash' because the bodies of the dead dogs used to end up there). The canal is constantly getting fresh water from various streams etc, and the bywash is to prevent the top pound from over flowing when the locks are closed. It's usually just above the top lock, on the opposite side to the towpath. A sill about a foot or so below the canal bank, allows the excess water to flow over it, and is channelled down past the locks, to an opening about 2 or 3 feet square. Fish congregate in this well oxygenated water, and it can be a real hot spot in warm weather, and when the canal is part frozen. It's only really practical to fish there in times of low boat traffic numbers, because the constant opening and closing of the locks, as well as the boats mooring below the locks at busy times, causes too much disturbance.

John.
That's what I meant :ROFLMAO:
A good detailed explanation @JayD :upthumb:
 

mickthechippy

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Cheers for that, good explanation

Ive never fished a "Boat" canal,

my local "canal" is really a defensive earthwork built in the napoleonic wars as a defence works

and now is mainly the major drain for the Romney Marsh

the only time it gets any flow of sorts is when the water levels get to above a certain hight and the sluice gates to empty the excess into the sea are opened at low tides
 

JayD

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Foulridge reservoir 😁 The res feeds the Leeds Liverpool at Colne in North Yorkshire and runs downstream to Bingley in West Yorkshire. The flow is down the Weir/overflow next to the bottom lock.
Aah, I don't recall fishing the canal at Bingley Jonathan. It was Leeds to Kirkstall in my early teens, up to Rodley a bit later, then Skipton/Gargrave. Strangely I mostly missed the bits inbetween apart from a couple of trips to Saltaire, and the L&L Canal championships in the early 70s, where I drew near Thackley. I preferred it back then, when all the clubs from Leeds up to Skipton shared the fishing on the canal, no hassle about day tickets, just turned up and fished.

John
 

Jonathan Sutcliffe-Bland

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Aah, I don't recall fishing the canal at Bingley Jonathan. It was Leeds to Kirkstall in my early teens, up to Rodley a bit later, then Skipton/Gargrave. Strangely I mostly missed the bits inbetween apart from a couple of trips to Saltaire, and the L&L Canal championships in the early 70s, where I drew near Thackley. I preferred it back then, when all the clubs from Leeds up to Skipton shared the fishing on the canal, no hassle about day tickets, just turned up and fished.

John
As teens in the early eighties we had 200 small Carp put in our club stretch at Thackley by the NRA. It already had a good head of Tench and Chub in. Fast forward to twenty twenty one 😭
 
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