We're fast approaching the time of year when the roach in the Thames will be in the mood to eat small seeds, mainly hemp and tares.
You use hemp as a loose bait and tares on the hook and the secret to success is patience. I will come back to this later.
For tackle, there are two approaches. I start by using a 13ft match rod loaded with 2lb mainline.
For a float, I use an insert waggler with all the shot bunched under it and one No 1 12 inches from the hook, which is a size 18 barbed to a 1ft 5in hooklength.
This will be fished just tripping the bottom in mid-river.
On every trot down, throw a few grains of hemp over the float. If it is too far, a bait catapult makes the job easier.
I also set up a pole, using a No 6 elastic with a small bristle insert float. I use this after about four hours of fishing when the roach are really on the seed.
You will need half a pint of tares, two pints of hemp and I also take a pint of casters to catch a few fish on a bait other than tares, so you don’t put them off at an early stage.
Now, let’s get back to that word patience I mentioned earlier.
You must give yourself at least two hours of trotting and baiting, and don’t expect a bite for some time.
Persevere and what may seem like a boringly slow start will turn into a hectic finale with a bite a chuck.
This really works, I do it every year with good roach catches resulting.
Last year, I took bags of up to 40lb from several different swims and individual fish up to 1lb 12oz.
You might not believe it, but I have fed a few grains every minute for an hour (that’s approximately 650 grains) without fishing and in the next 60 minutes I had 10lb of roach and finished with over 30lb.
So give it a try. If you can’t prepare your own seeds, you can buy them canned or frozen.
I have got mine recently from FTB Tackle in Northway, who have an excellent bait selection.
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