Winter League match sees anglers hauling in the silvers with nets to over 50lb.
Some of the biggest catches of river roach this winter have been caught during a winter league competition held this weekend.
The first round of the Bourne winter league on the town stretch of the river Welland at Spalding, Lincolnshire saw some amazing silverfish action with no less than five nets of the species topping 40lb each.
Best on the day however was a weight of over 53lb netted by Bait-Tech angler Wayne Swinscoe. Fishing he described to Match Fishing as ‘just exceptional’.
Competing in a section of six anglers, which saw over 260lb of fish caught in 5 hours, Wayne landed a total of 425 roach averaging 1.5 to 2oz each. This was from a section of the river just 2feet deep and 12 feet wide.
“It was just exceptional fishing, the best catch of roach I have ever had in this country,” Wayne told Match Fishing. “The river was very low and wasn’t holding a lot of colour, yet the swims in front of us were stuffed full of fish. When I was plumbing up I could feel them knocking the line, and when I put my rig out to test it I caught one straight away with a bare hook, in the mouth!”
With what was obviously ‘fish soup’ in front of him, Wayne knew speed and efficiency would be what won the match so set about making every second count.
“I’d brought a few set-ups along but I fished all day with just the top four of my Maver 501 pole fished to hand with a number 5 elastic tightened up on a bung. My rig had four 14s bulked halfway down with a dropper halfway between the bulk and the hook. Depth was set at 2foot depth using a 4inch .09 hooklength and a size 18hook,” continued Wayne.
“To be honest setting up for the match I didn’t know what to expect, especially as it was a last minute change of venue anyway. Last year I blanked on this stretch, so I fished with what I had, which to me felt and a little bit heavy, although it didn’t seem to bother the fish at all which came from the first drop in to the last. I was lucky not to have any tangles and only lost a few fish. It was just like bleak fishing, you barely had time to look down and punch your bread out before you had a bite and all the fish were like peas in a pod, which a couple up to around 6oz and all the rest between 1 and 2oz.”
Wayne caught all of his fish on bread punch, feeding liquidized bread and a quarter of a pint of hemp to hold the large shoal of fish in his swim.
“I think I could have fished on for another couple of hours and had even more as they started to feed even harder as the light was going. It was an amazing day’s fishing,” he added.