Spring has come – the time to start fishing in open water with summer gear. And, probably, one of the most interesting fishing objects at this time is roach. In early spring, with ice melting on small rivers, the roach rushes into them, as they say, "flush the gills" in fresh, oxygen-rich water. But this move has a short-term nature: after passing a certain section of the river and encountering some kind of obstacle like a shallow drop, dam or dam, the roach slides back into larger rivers, lakes and reservoirs, where it begins to prepare for spawning. During this period, roach is distributed in those parts of the reservoir, near which spawning will occur. Here she is fattened in anticipation of warming up the water to the temperature necessary for spawning. The features of fishing this fish in the pre-spawning period will be discussed in the article.
What does biting depend on?
In order to successfully catch pre-spawning roach, one must take into account possible factors affecting its activity. During this period, roach biting can be very unstable and intermittent. But one thing is certain: during the day it will happen. True, roach is already quite active and can, for one reason or another, very quickly change its location. At the time of roach biting, weather factors strongly influence. For example, if the past night was relatively warm, then the fish will begin to catch well already at sunrise. If the nights are cool, then the roach begins to bite only when the water in the pond warms up more or less – closer to dinner, and sometimes towards evening. However, not only the temperature of air and water, but, of course, atmospheric pressure differences also affect the time of roach biting.
The activity and time of roach biting can also depend on the direction and strength of the wind. So, in spring, when fishing on small lakes or ponds, which are well closed from the winds, roach bites best after lunch, from three to four hours. Moreover, sometimes there may not be a morning bite at all. The most interesting thing that is important here is not so much the direction of the wind itself, but how the coastal strip is oriented towards it at the place of fishing. For example, when the water is completely calm or the wind blows in the back, good fishing will not work, as there is most likely no normal roach bite. But as soon as the wind changes and blow from the side, or, even better, into the face, sometimes sometimes the roach begins to peck, almost at the very shore.
What is the reason, I can not say. Perhaps roach feels comfortable when there is ripples in the water. One way or another, but I had to repeatedly observe a similar phenomenon when fishing on reservoirs, lakes and ponds, and this pattern holds true not only for roaches, but also for other white fish. As for the rivers, the fish are well caught on them and in areas without disturbance of water. True, in calm conditions it here becomes more cautious and less active. It is characteristic that in this case the roach does not leave the calm sections of the river, but simply ceases to bite. This is confirmed by the fact that as soon as with the first gusts of wind quiet water gives way to excitement, the nibble begins to become more active.
Depths and places of fishing
In spring, you should always take into account the depth of fishing. For example, if a body of water is deep enough, low flow, and closed from the winds, that is, with little mixing of the water, then it is best to look for roach on it in more shallow areas – in those places where the water is much warmer. In April and early May, the depths of about two meters can be considered the most promising for roach fishing – usually this is the zone where the border of coastal vegetation passes. Roach at this time likes to visit underwater thickets, but does not forget about more or less open areas, however, staying in close proximity to the vegetation. This behavior is characteristic of roaches that live in slightly overgrown ponds. Where there is a lot of vegetation, it, as a rule, gradually moving, occupies more and more open places.
Very often, roach can also fall below the first edge, but not further than the next, deep edge. Especially good if the bottom in such places is relatively hard. For example, rocky, as is often observed in the area of dams, or clay, which is also good. He loves roaches and enclosed places where she finds shelter and food. In rivers or large flowing lakes and reservoirs, there are good chances to find roach on the underwater hills that the zebra mussel has chosen for its habitat. When fishing in deep sand pits, roaches are best found in coastal areas near bushes or trees.
Bait and baits
The place chosen for fishing must be lured. The water has not warmed enough, so the roach reacts rather slowly to the bait mixture. Very often, the time interval between feeding and the beginning of the first bites of roach reaches an hour or more. Moreover, it is in the spring that excessive feeding can lead to a negative result, that is, to a complete cessation of biting. Therefore, the bait should not be much, but it must be of good quality and meet the fishing conditions in terms of composition. It is quite a working and at the same time quite a budget option – this is some kind of proprietary roach bait, best of all winter, with the addition of slightly undercooked millet or pearl barley, ground sunflower or hemp seeds and planting material – chopped worm, bloodworm or maggot.
Clay or another neutral component, but not boiled porridge, is suitable as a ballast. Given that the water is still cold, the amount of aromatic substances in the mixture should be minimal. But any, the best bait will be effective only if the place for fishing is correctly defined. Do not rely on the fact that the bait mixture will collect all the roach from the reservoir under your float. Bait is needed now not in order to attract roach, but in order to arouse her appetite and keep it in the fishing zone.
If we talk about baits, then one should not particularly hope for any one type of attachment. You should always have a variety of lures with you – bloodworms, worms, maggots, caddis flies. We must not forget about plant tips – pearl barley, hemp or wheat grains, dough or talker. On some ponds, roach can peck on almost any bait, while on others it refers to the fact that the hook is extremely selective. It also happens that today she willingly pecks, for example, on maggots, and the next day she only give her pearl barley. I have repeatedly encountered such vagaries of roach, and often saved me from the lack of bite that I always try to take a lot of different lures with me.
You can catch roach with various gears: float, half-line or feeder gear, for example a picer. This is largely determined by the conditions of fishing in the pond. But I prefer to use a light and sensitive fly fishing rod for roach fishing. This type of fishing, in my opinion, is very effective in spring in places with a slow or medium course. Here we will talk about roach fishing with a fly fishing rod. The choice of fishing rod depends on the place of fishing. For example, on a small river, and even under the shore, there is no need to wave the “eight” or “nine” – a five-maximum six-meter fishing rod is enough. Of course, on larger lakes or reservoirs, longer swings may be needed, but there too a lot depends not so much on the nature of the reservoir as on the chosen place. If you are not lazy, then even in large bodies of water you can find a suitable place for fishing with a shorter rod.
What are the fishing rod requirements? Firstly, it should be light, well balanced and have as thin a comel as possible. The latter is important when fishing in windy weather. Secondly, the rod must be tough enough and have a fast or medium-fast system. This will allow the use of light and thin equipment, which is very important when fishing for careful and capricious roach. I myself am fishing with Shimano Technium TE-2 rods. These rods perfectly combine all of the above qualities. The two in the abbreviation "TE-2" means that this is a rod of the light class. It has a snap test of up to 8 g and easily and accurately “puts” floats from 0.3 g regardless of the length of the rod. Power on fishing lines of such a rod is up to three kilograms.
When choosing a snap, the main rule should apply: the lighter and thinner the better. The diameter of the main fishing line from 0.10 to 0.14 mm, a maximum of 0.16 mm. As a rule, such a thickness is quite enough even for catching roach “per kilo”. The selection of leashes should be treated especially responsibly. Here, every extra “hundred” can affect the number of bites. I strongly advise against using fishing lines thicker than 0.10 mm for leashes. The leash length should be at least 25-30 cm. Hooks depending on the used bait No. 16-22. Floats are best used with a sport type with two attachment points and a long and preferably metal keel. As for the carrying capacity, the choice, of course, depends on the strength of the current, and on the wind, and on the class and structure of the rod. But still the rule is the same: as easy as possible.
In bodies of water without a current, I usually use floats with a carrying capacity of 0.3 g to 1 g. For fishing on a current, even, for example, on the middle Oka, from 0.5 to 1.5 g, less often 2 g. April roaches may well be called filigree and highly athletic. But at the same time, with appropriate preparation, this is an extremely exciting and prey fishing.
author Alexander BELOOZERSKIY