Three main factors
The dimensions of the reservoir. In small creeks and ponds, large individuals of roach are rarely found. Typical for their habitat will be reservoirs with an area of about 30 hectares, with clean water.
Population density. Any fish can exceed the average size only if it has a good food base. The less congeners dispute among themselves the right to food, the more everyone gets. In addition, in water bodies optimal for large roach, there are usually a lot of pikes and perches, which intensively eat its juveniles for the benefit of older specimens. And although there are relatively few roach per hectare, the chances of catching really record specimens are quite high. The only problem is how to find them.
Chemistry. It is amazing, but true – in lakes with slightly acidic water, the largest individuals of roach often live. And the reason for this is weak competition for feed. Indeed, increased acidity leads to the systematic death of some of the sensitive eggs, and this kind of natural “protection” reduces the number of roach in the reservoir. However, it cannot be argued that any acidic waters are beneficial. On the contrary, a sharp increase in acidity in a short period can lead to the extinction of both juvenile and adult fish.
Large specimens bite only at night
During the daytime, the largest specimens of roach, as well as many other non-predatory fish, are most often found at a depth of 5 to 10 m. And only with the onset of dusk does the large species move to shallower areas. However, as a rule, it makes no sense to fish at depths less than 1.5-2 m.The depth of 2-4 m is considered ideal.In almost all lakes where I had to catch roach weighing more than a kilogram, the action developed approximately according to the same scenario: the biting began only with the onset of darkness. Therefore, most of the places where large roach live can be considered “not yet discovered”. After all, many anglers go home too early, content with a pair of roach caught in the day, weighing 200-300 g. Only a few – the most gambling – stay overnight, waiting for their luck. And it may happen that the roach “under a kilogram” is just waiting for the bait to be thrown at them in time. In both summer and autumn, most bites occurred in the first hours after sunset, and then at dawn and during the first hours of the morning. In autumn, with a decrease in water temperature, the biting time more and more often shifted closer to the daytime.
If the bank is steep enough or you have a boat at your disposal, you can use a very interesting fishing method with a luminous float. On short distances it gives the best results, and also allows you to accurately distribute the bait, which can be thrown from the boat literally under the tip of the rod. In principle, tackle for large roach is very similar to that used for standard fishing for small things. True, when fishing at night, a stronger line and a hook are required. This is not only due to the fact that 1 kg roach is a very strong fish, after all, it is not so difficult to take it on a mono line with a diameter of 0.10 mm, if you do not force the game. However, as practice shows, in the dark it is very easy to unnoticeably damage both the fishing line and the hook. It is good if you have foreseen this circumstance in advance and have spare equipment with you.
Otherwise, do not be afraid to use a line of 0.18 or even 0.20 mm on a “virgin” reservoir. If the fish reacts well to bait at night, then the difference of 0.02 mm will hardly affect your catch. Only when clearly fearful behavior of the fish is noticeable (usually on lakes often visited by anglers), should the diameter of the line be reduced to 0.16 mm. When fishing for large fish, there is usually no need to use hooks that are too small. I am most impressed by the thin Drennan Wide Gape Specialist No. 10 hook. The bait on it keeps quite naturally, and there is still a free space on the tip for two grains of maize after planting 1-2 small wriggling dung worms.
Under the protection of the twilight
For half an hour, when darkness slowly covers the reservoir, roach appear on its surface more and more often, here and there, picking up insects and giving themselves away with loud splashes. The tension reaches its peak when, in response to what is happening, we feverishly rush to fix the lead pellets on the line, sliding them under the float. And finally, after casting, the bait slowly sinks into the water column. If you manage to toss it directly to the fish, you can count on a quick capture of several beautiful specimens. Unfortunately, such a tense, full of excitement time does not last long. Further fishing occurs from the bottom. My favorite method is “dragging”, when the bait and a 15-20-cm leash in front of it “crawl” along the bottom, moved only by a slight drift. In case of wind and strong currents, a very small shot, fixed at the end of the main line, helps well. Such a shot falls on the ground and significantly reduces the drift of the rig.
Elongation of equipment for “drawing”
When catching the edges of the whirlpools by “dragging”, it is better to use longer equipment. This will help position the lure so that even with drifting or small changes in casting length, it will always be on the bottom. And this is important – after all, as soon as it breaks away from the ground, several small fish will immediately rush after it. An excellent and very sensitive float when fishing at short distances, in my opinion, is the Insert-waggler (with an extended top) with a carrying capacity of 3 to 6 small pellets. For long casts, it is better to use floats with a higher carrying capacity.
When fishing at night, casting accuracy is significantly reduced, so it is worth practicing in advance. In addition, the darkness conceals the distance to the point of fishing, and when casting, you can “miss” the lured place. Therefore, with the help of a cord and a sinker at the feeding point, I put a buoy in the form of an empty Coca-Cola bottle, in which a light glows, and when casting I focus on it.
At night, the buoy also helps to combat “hallucinations” resulting from prolonged observation of the luminous float. The fact is that after a while you get the feeling from the tension that the float is starting to “walk” on the water faster and faster – first in one direction, then in the other direction. And then the nearby Coca-Cola bottle will remind you – do not worry, all this is nothing more than a play of imagination.