Roach Fishing at Night

Bullmoose Jackson

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There is a canal harbour close to where I work, which is lit by streetlights all night. Now that we are coming in to autumn / winter, I thought it might be a good spot for some evening sessions into dark. With the streetlights, no torches are needed - there is enough light to bait up, unhook fish, etc.

During the daytime in winter, it holds nice shoals of roach, skimmers and hybrids. They are 'match size' fish, rather than specimens. I was thinking of trying a bomb rod, or a very light feeder. Am I likely to catch roach at night, or would I be wasting my time?

Any thoughts or advice would be very much appreciated.
 

squimp

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Plenty of specialist anglers target big roach in the winter, the evening and first few hours of darkness is often the best time.

Think back to John Bailey on the Wensum. he was a teacher at the time and fished every day after work.

Another example is the guys on Willow Pool at Linch Hill. they bivvied up and sometimes the fish started feeding in the middle of really cold nights.

in the 90’s I fished a local pit and we used to start fishing in the winter in late afternoon and stay till 8 or 9pm. we caught plenty of fish to 2lb plus until the fishery manager decided to net the lake and move the roach.......unfortunately he put them (including a few 3lb fish) into a lake full of pike. They disappeared in less than 1 season. What a waste !
 

nejohn

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Plenty of specialist anglers target big roach in the winter, the evening and first few hours of darkness is often the best time.

Think back to John Bailey on the Wensum. he was a teacher at the time and fished every day after work.

Another example is the guys on Willow Pool at Linch Hill. they bivvied up and sometimes the fish started feeding in the middle of really cold nights.

in the 90’s I fished a local pit and we used to start fishing in the winter in late afternoon and stay till 8 or 9pm. we caught plenty of fish to 2lb plus until the fishery manager decided to net the lake and move the roach.......unfortunately he put them (including a few 3lb fish) into a lake full of pike. They disappeared in less than 1 season. What a waste !
If you can get your hands on John Bailey's book 'Roach the gentle giants' you will get an insight into fishing for roach after dark in the winter.

Also did they not used to run a very successful match series on the docks in Bristol after dark in the autumn and winter months, everyone fishing by the light of the street lights, if I remember correctly there were some very large nets of Roach and Bream recorded
 

squimp

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A great book and a wonderful account of how obsession gets to specialist anglers.
 

Rick123

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That's kind-of what I'm thinking - I wonder how far into dark they will feed?

Low light values again. Best times coming onto dark, first few hours, then early morning just as its getting light. The mornings are just what I'm told rather than experience?
 

squimp

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On the B Avon in its heyday we used to drive there in the dark and tackle up (made up rods) with head torches.

That way we could cast in as it broke light. We would catch a few massive roach and then be at work for 9am.

sessions were less than 2 hours duration. But the river had to be ‘right’ and that usually happened only a couple of times a month And only in the winter.
 

Zerkalo

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I had always heard Roach don't feed as well at night so this is surprising? ?‍♂️
 

squimp

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I had always heard Roach don't feed as well at night so this is surprising? ?‍♂️
Unfortunately what you have ‘heard’ is basically inaccurate.

I could list you dozens of waters where specialist anglers have deliberately targeted big roach after dark. And sometimes during winter in really cold, high pressure conditions. That last bit ( cold and high pressure) is even surprising to me. But given that it is a regular occurrence, I believe it.

Read posts 4 and 5 above for more details.
 

Zerkalo

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Unfortunately what you have ‘heard’ is basically inaccurate.

I could list you dozens of waters where specialist anglers have deliberately targeted big roach after dark. And sometimes during winter in really cold, high pressure conditions. That last bit ( cold and high pressure) is even surprising to me. But given that it is a regular occurrence, I believe it.

Read posts 4 and 5 above for more details.

I don't doubt it. Just going on what I've read on other forums like Fishing Magic.
 

Dave Spence

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Archie Braddock used to catch a lot of roach from the Trent and he always stated that if you stayed a couple of hours after dark it was like fishing a different river and the roach were much bigger. Have a go mate and let us know how you get on. Good luck mate ??
 

lucc

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Here I can assure you roaches don't feed at night, contrary to breams...
I did several 24h challenges, and it is always the same : as soon as darkness comes, no more roach bites.
Maybe what they call roach above are hybrid...
 

Wise Owl

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Well in the late 80s early 90s we night fished Skelton Grange Power station on the River Aire regular and had some quality bags of Roach, and many fish over the magical 2 pound.
 

Joe C

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If you can get your hands on John Bailey's book 'Roach the gentle giants' you will get an insight into fishing for roach after dark in the winter.

Also did they not used to run a very successful match series on the docks in Bristol after dark in the autumn and winter months, everyone fishing by the light of the street lights, if I remember correctly there were some very large nets of Roach and Bream recorded
It’s in the summer mate, still goes on every year, to my knowledge there isn’t a winter series.
 
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