Roach Galore at Renny

Simon R

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Nice though it is to be sat around doing nowt after Christmas, nibbling mince pies and the toffees that nobody else wanted in the tub of Quality Street I do start to get an itchy rod hand and since today was forecast to be dry and with temperatures approaching the dizzy heights of 11C it seemed like a good opportunity to scratch that itch.

I wanted a few bites and the chance to snare something larger so headed down to Renny Lakes near East Harlsey in North Yorkshire. The last couple of times I’ve fished it at this time of year I’ve dropped onto the smaller silver or match lake adjacent to the car-park so as much for a change as any other reason I fished the main like today, dropping into a peg with the island an easy 10m away.

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Set the pole up to fish against the island (only 18” deep) and down the middle (2+2) which was the deepest part of the peg. The near margin I fished with rod & line.

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The rod is a Shakespeare President – their first carbon fibre match fishing rod, introduced in 1978 at a cost of £75 – three times the price of the legendary Match International. I could never afford one at the time but did get chance to have a fish with one a few years later – the butt and middle sections don’t bend (at all) so all the action is concentrated in the tip section. It was way too powerful really – the expression at the time was it could rip the head off a gudgeon at 40 yards:p and I didn’t really enjoy the experience.


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Whilst wandering around a car-boot sale at Strawberry Fields just outside Ingoldmells last summer I spotted the rod and when told it was a tenner snapped it up straight away. I strapped a Mitchell Match to it and it’s been sat in the corner of the room ever since so I thought today was a good chance to christen it.

I potted some chopped worm and a bit of corn over to the island, sprinkled a few maggots over the 2+2 line and a few grains of corn in the margin. I flicked the float out over the short pole line just to see if I could get a roach or two– the rod, despite being as thick in the butt as many glass rods, is surprisingly lightweight. I did get a couple of roach but the presentation wasn’t the best due to the breeze, so I dropped the waggler into the margin and left it as a ‘sleeper’ whilst fishing the pole.

Fishing maggot I got a roach every chuck. Most a couple of ounces but every six or eight fish would be a netter (ie over 6oz) and half of those would be 12-14oz. Fishing half a dendrobena on the hook certainly increased the average size of the fish. Every so often the peg would be invaded by gudgeon – they’re a bloody nuisance and love worm - the only way to avoid them is stop feeding one line and go and fish another.

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I had twenty minutes or so with the President fishing down the edge and got a bite a chuck but missed quite a few. I packed that away and replaced it with my Acolyte carp waggler rod – not designed for catching roach but I hit almost every bite. Goes to show how carbon and rod technology has improved over the years.

Despite trying meat, corn, pellet and worm I never had a sniff off anything larger except one fish I presume was foul hooked – I was only attached it for a second or two before the elastic went slack. I probably caught 8-10lbs but spent a good proportion of the session trying different things – I get bored catching stamp roach without a keepnet. I could have easily done 20lbs of roach, rudd and gudgeon just on a couple of pole lines or even the whip.

Simon
 

Silverfisher

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Blimey that’s a great session, I’ll take a roach a chuck in the warmer months any day but I’d pull your arm off for it at this time of year!
 
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