Had a few hours spare this morning so I thought I'd go to my projected winter canal roach venue and run another experiment — to see if roach were actually there to catch, because I've seen precious little of them lately!
Even when this particularly busy cut is covered in thin ice they still make life difficult. If they can break through they'll travel. so last time there I tried helicopter maggot feeder tactics to see if they would survive the boats and allow reasonable amounts of daylight hours in which to fish effectively.
Of course I still intend to float fish in the brief hours when I can. And float fish bread because it is the best bait for the job. Or at least has proven itself that so far. And so, I set out with a rod, a net, a seat and a box of bread disks to see what I could achieve with them.
One roach would do. So long as it was over a pound in weight, I'd be encouraged...
Along the way a fish topping a hundred yards round the bend from my intended swim was an encouraging thing. A rare sight hereabouts. There's a nook under the far bank cover where i wanted to cast as tight as possible and into two feet of water and less. A boat came through just as soon as I'd established dead depth. However, I'd not put in any mash by then. So, no problem.
Just as soon as the water had settled, In went the mash. But I waited a little while before casting above it. Meanwhile I watched the local raven couple who regard this particular area as their sole territory see off another pair high in the sky above. 'Cronk, cronk'. They called out.
Which means 'F-off' in bird lingo! And they did.
When I cast five minutes later the immediate result was a one-pound roach!
I didn't get a second bite though. So after another half-hour had passed by, I went home satisfied.
Below is a video of the beautiful method. Not the bite. Just the way it hangs together and the way it settles down. You'll no doubt be appalled at the sheer size of the bait used. At 18mm that's not even a big one. I'll use 25mm in the depths of winter with utter confidence that it'll pluck every large fish from the swim should they be there. I will try to film a bite but not at this venue because I'll run down the battery trying and then what ever will I do with the two-pound roach that falls just after?
There's enough here to go on should you want to understand it. Click on the video, go to 'Watch on YouTube', read the description, shuffle back and forth to view things, and you can work it out for yourself.