Roach (Rutilus Rutilus) illustration by Jiří Malý
Roach (Rutilus rutilus) by Jiří Malý

The humble Roach is not a species that many pleasure anglers actively target these days. Match anglers are happy to fill their keepnets with them as, in smaller sizes, they are often ready to eat the morsels fed to them.

They tend to be shoal fish and are happy to mix with other species when there is food around.

The biggest Roach I ever caught weighed in at 0.5 kilo and was tempted on a square of cheddar cheese presented on a link ledger with a size 6 hook. This was on an evening Chub fishing session with my Mr. Crabtree under a Weir on the river Colne in Iver, west of London. My age? 10 years old.

Radbuza Roach
Radbuza Roach

In 2023 my biggest Roach was just a few ounces – I didn’t weigh it but it measured just 28cm. One of several of a similar size, they were caught on link-ledgered sweetcorn on the Radbuza river.

The Obstacle to Landing Big Roach

I’m fairly sure there are larger Roach there but the major problem with catching them is that to attract them to your swim it’s necessary to feed a fair amount of loose corn, bread or whatever you have. This excites the smaller fish and attracts the Pike.

Once the Pike are in the swim it’s game over as they will attack any hooked fish as well as chase the shoals of fish away.

The over-population of Radbuza Pike is a major nuisance! And going strongly against my ethics, I am seriously thinking about ways to keep them away.



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