On the first ice, the roach migrates throughout the entire reservoir, by the middle of winter they get into flocks, usually concentrating at a depth of three to five meters. In the middle of winter, she tries to stay in areas with a slight current, usually in her traditional wintering places, which a roach angler needs to know. In a weak current, the fish spends less energy, and therefore, it needs less feed. Roach living in reservoirs in winter can often be found at the mouths of tributaries and streams. Closer to the flood, it approaches the banks of the dammed tributaries and greedily takes on a jig even where the depth is sometimes less than half a meter. It is best to darken the holes under the shore with snow or crumb ice. It is during this period that you can become the owner of the cherished trophies. On the Rybinsk Reservoir, for example, on the very last ice there is good fishing for large, so-called “sea”, roach in the lower reaches of such rivers as Sebla, Sit, Ild, Syroverkaidr. The roach here weighs up to a kilogram or more.
Looking for catchy spots
Once, at the end of March, I went to the Ivankovskoye reservoir for roach. Arriving at a familiar place, I drilled a hole in the half-meter ice. The water was excellently clear. But when I lowered the jig with the bloodworm, I realized from the position of the line that there was no current at all. There was no point in waiting for the fish. Moreover, after the discharge, the water level against the winter level turned out to be two meters lower. Just in case, I poured half of the bait on the bottom and set the baited rod. Moving towards the Volga bed, I made several more test holes. The same effect. After a hundred steps I finally got on the riverbed. A strong current immediately pulled the line under the ice, and muddy water gushed out of the hole. Another five holes in the opposite direction – and I definitely found myself on the border of muddy (but oxygen-rich) and clear (but uncomfortable for fish) water. As I expected, the place turned out to be catchy. I lost about two hours looking for it, but I made up for lost time thanks to a good bite. On the very first hole, there was not a single bite.
In each specific case, the search for roach requires non-standard actions from the angler. Although this fish, like perch, is found almost everywhere, but when catching it, every time you have to solve a problem with many unknowns. Very important factors that determine its location are the oxygen regime of the reservoir, the availability of food and shelters from predatory fish. The largest roach is almost always kept at depth. This is especially true of reservoirs often visited by fishermen. This behavior of the fish can also be explained by the fact that dreisena, its favorite delicacy, forms whole colonies on the deep-sea edges, settling in belts. It is near these feeding places that solid individuals of roach prefer to stay.
In winter, on small reservoirs in the Moscow region, for example Uchinskoye, I found roach camps at a depth of about three meters along the coastal edges of flooded rivers and streams. And always in areas with a slight current. I took medium roach up to twenty centimeters long. In reservoirs with a favorable oxygen regime, it leads a relatively active lifestyle even during the wilderness. It can be found in the vicinity of the creeper camps, but at a shallower depth. Often she takes interspersed with him.
One day at the end of February, I was catching a scavenger at a depth of just over five meters. The weather was unusually quiet for this month. It started snowing by lunchtime. I put a brush of ruby bloodworms on the hook of the jig – a rather large shot and dipped it under the ice. After the mormyshka reached the bottom, he waited for a while, then carefully began to move it, swaying it from side to side. The nod shuddered and straightened up. I hooked and played the next fish. However, the breeder took with long pauses, during which the nod registered someone’s careful touches to the nozzle. The sweeps, of course, were empty … But what if it’s a roach? And indeed: as soon as the tackle was replaced, he immediately took out a decent roach from the water. On a float rod with a small leash that day, they took in turn either the bastard or the roach.
source: Catching from the ice. All the secrets of winter fishing