Thursday, 17 February 2011

My Quest for the Magic Two - Rock Steady Beat

Before setting out yesterday for Stratford upon Avon and my beloved Lucy's Mill with Lee Fletcher, I'd spent the morning preparing myself for a two pronged assault upon two species of fish - roach during the daylight hours and then barbel around dusk and into darkness. The roach prep was easy - nipping across to the local superminimarket and purchasing a loaf of Warburton's blue was about it - the barbel prep rather more involved, as you can imagine.

On arrival an old gent was sitting in my favoured peg. Lee had elected to fish for roach too so I pointed out an area that I was certain contained a shoal even though I'd never yet created a chance to explore its potential, and then prepared to go downstream and search out a new area where I am certain will be found another pocket of fish living somewhere in, or alongside a stretch of shallow gravel bottomed water where weed beds grow in Summer, down toward the road bridge.

Luckily the old timer packed down within minutes of arrival so a second crack at the roach shoal found three weeks back, was on.

I elected to use the JW Quiver with a medium tip as the flow across the mainline here, and at the angle I choose to fish to the hotspot, is slight - no need for the broomstick approach that is vital to success further downstream. Line was four pound to a 2.5 bottom, size ten barbed hook, a two foot six inch tail and a medium sized cage feeder on a six inch paternoster; my standard avon roach rig in fact.

Unlike my initial session here (and not counting last weeks aborted mission) the bites were not nearly so frequent with a wait of up to five minutes between indications which meant that sport was slow, but nevertheless it turned out to be rock steady with fish coming on a fairly regular basis and not all in the first half hour as before.

Over the course of the afternoon I put together a tidy bag of nine good fish with five around my baseline one pound mark and the best at one pound, five ounces and a half.

Lee, on the other hand, had another story to tell. He eventually located his fish in the predicted area by quartering the water and as he narrowed down the hotspot to an area no larger than that of a dining table began to get more and more strident bites. Unfortunately they proved very hard for him to hit as he was employing an upstream angle of approach. Eventually I saw him lift his net aloft and punch the air as he landed a twelve ounce roach/bream hybrid. Later he moved to a new position in order to get the right angle on the bites and then had his first roach, but unfortunately it was a move too late for as dusk approached his bites simply dried up, as did mine.

So, once again, an instructive day. Lee's frustrating session actually served as free homework establishing the presence of another shoal in the place predicted which proves that my watercraft skills where roach are concerned are becoming more and more pointed and reliable, which is more than three quarters of the battle where roach are concerned as once they are found and the right approach to the conditions is adopted, they are not so hard to catch.

And now, with the the pretty pastel colours of evening rapidly fading from the Stratford skyline, It was high time to break out the barbel rods and my new tip-top secret wonder bait.

Back soon...


  1. Lovely fish Jeff and even better when caught by design.....I feel the 2lber is drawing closer to you squire!!!

  2. Another nice bag of roach there Jeff, great to see all the bloggers getting out on the bank together.