Since joining Roach Pit back in January, I have learnt a whole lot in a short period of time, all whilst enjoying my angling more than ever! I’ve gone from fishing what is probably one of the busiest club waters in the country, to now being part of an exclusive fifty-man syndicate. I still remember that moment my phone buzzed, and I looked down to see an email entitled ‘Roach Pit ticket offer’. I could not wait to get started!

I spent the first couple of months dotting about and fishing as many different areas as possible. I will be honest, I wasn’t overly fussed about catching to begin with, as I was just taking it all in and learning the lake. Come Sunday afternoon, when most of the weekend guys had gone home, nine times out of ten I would be the only one there. I used this time wisely and began to lead about in as many different areas as possible, always making sure there was no one about when doing so because the last thing I wanted was to be the newbie that was pi**ing everyone off by leading about near them…

I was quickly building up a good picture of the lake and then, on one session in early March, when I had got down at first light on the Saturday I witnessed more shows in half an hour, than I had seen since I’d joined. A lot of them were showing out in front of a swim that I had fished the previous weekend, so knowing the spots I got a couple of rods out nice and quick, but unfortunately this didn’t result in anything…

Then the dreaded lock-down hit us!

The lake opened back up in the middle of May, and then two weeks later it closed again for spawning. I was down there when the post went up on the CWA fisheries page to say it was closed and rather than go elsewhere, I spent all morning watching them spawn in an area called ‘The Swimming Pool’. It was here that I got to see some of the true Roach Pit gems right up close and personal; including the amazing scaley Jamie’s Fish and the Fat Lin to name just a couple!

Now it was time to start putting the effort in! Pre-baiting is something I have never had the opportunity to do in the past. Fishing extremely busy club waters just doesn’t allow you to do it. At Roach pit on the other hand, there was always areas of the lake that very rarely get fished. One of these areas was a swim called The Rat Hole. Since becoming a member, I had only seen it occupied once! I had a spot written down in my phone that I had found earlier in the year, but with the weed growing fast I was not sure if it would still be clear or not. Thankfully, it was still reasonably weed free, so it was this area that I decided to start baiting.


The first bait up I gave them was a big hit of seed and pellet. Then, every other day for the next two weeks, I was going down after work and giving them another bucket. I began to introduce a lot of boilie on the second week as I knew they would be hungry. CC Moore Odyssey XXX as this bait had caught well on there in previous years. I went through more bait in this short period of time than I had used in the whole of last year!

The lake opened back up on a Wednesday, but unfortunately, I could not get down until after work on the Friday. As you could imagine I was full of confidence making my way down the A31 that Friday evening. After pulling into Snails Lane and finding the car park busier than I had ever seen it and I had that horrible feeling someone could be in the Rat Hole. Sure enough… and there was! I fished a different area of the lake that weekend and then Sunday afternoon before I left, I baited Rat again knowing that I would be back on Tuesday for a night in between days at work.


Tuesday came around and I just couldn’t wait for that clock to hit 5.30PM so I could get back down to the lake. After pulling into Snails Lane and finding no cars or vans in the car park, you could imagine how I was feeling. The rods went out perfectly that night and I sat back with a couple of ciders and took it all in. My first night in Rat, after all that effort, was it going to pay off?

I captured a Tench right on first light and this fish actually wiped out one of my other rods too. As I stood at the top of the swim wrapping the rods back up, the one remaining rod left in the water went into absolute meltdown. I ran back down the steps and lifted into it and knew instantly I was attached to my first Roach Pit carp. The knees started to tremble and after a pretty tense fight, I was soon slipping the net under what was probably my hardest earnt carp to date! It was a plain one by Roach pit standards, but a lovely one at that!


I headed back down on the Thursday for another bait up and then got back down on the Friday after work, full of confidence. At around 4AM on the Saturday my left-hand rod was away again – fish number 2 and this time it was a cool little scaley mirror.


I won’t keep going on about how many times I was baiting up, but it was at least 3 times a week. Consistency was key here, and it was already paying off nicely…

The following weekend, I got back down on the Friday at around 6PM, and again I got back into Rat. Then on Saturday at 5.45AM the left hander was away again, this time catching another lovely little Avon Valley strain mirror.


By now I was actually committing all 3 rods to this one spot, which isn’t the norm for over there. After catching my 3rd fish and all the bites had come to my left-hand rod, so I was beginning to think maybe I was over doing it by having 3 lines out to the one spot. Then at 7.30 that morning the right-hand rod signalled a take and I was into carp number four. I knew from the off that this felt like a better fish, it stayed low and then managed to find a thick bed of eel grass. After 5 minutes of steady pressure it slowly started to budge and soon enough I had it moving again. As it got closer and surfaced about twenty yards in front of me, my original thoughts of it being a better fish were confirmed and not long after that I was slipping the net under my first Roach pit 30! 30lb 10oz to be exact. Once on the bank, it was clear to see this fish was never coming off. The size 6 Mugga safely embedded an inch and a half back. I am certain this fish was 35+ a month previous. It had a huge frame but was very empty after a nice healthy spawn.


Anyone that has fished Roach pit in the past will know how much of a nightmare the tufties and coots are! I was now beginning to get picked up in the middle of the night, as after all that baiting, they knew exactly where to go for some grub. The weekend I caught two, I woke up on the Sunday with a suspicious looking black thing floating above the spot. Yep, you guessed it. A dead tuftie which had picked up one of my rods during the night, got caught up in a load of weed and wiped out my other two rods in the process. I was getting picked up countless times each session and now this was the fourth one I had hooked in my last two trips and it was beginning to be a right pain in the a**e.

So now it was time for the back-up plan… There was another swim, at the complete opposite end of the lake, which I had also been baiting. Not nearly as much food, as it was along a tree line, but I was still making sure this spot was seeing bait twice a week at the very minimum. The weather was set to get hot the following weekend and I knew I potentially had a good chance in this area, as it was down the shallower end of the lake.


As always, I rocked up after work at around 6PM and managed to get into this new swim, which I had not actually fished previously. I knew the spots from one of those Sundays earlier on in the year, so getting the rods out was nice and easy. A solid bag in the edge, which was lowered into position. My middle rod over to the baited tree line, and then my right-hand rod was positioned a bit further down the tree line. I opted to use Mirage fluorocarbon main line, to ensure my line was pinned to the lakebed and out the way of any wary carp in the area. With everything set the last job was to once again set my alarm for 4AM, just as it had been through out all the previous trips, and I couldn’t wait for it to go off!


This particular swim gives you a massive panoramic view of the lake, so it’s perfect for spotting them first thing in the morning. I was full of anticipation that morning after seeing quite a few shows in this section of the lake and I had a feeling that if I was going to catch out of this swim, then the bite would come later in the morning, due to it being much shallower. Personally, I don’t really think many of them spend much of the night in this particular swim.

This feeling was confirmed at around 10.30AM, when my rod cast over to the baited tree line pulled round tight and I was now into carp number five! Thankfully, the fish kited straight out into open water and after getting that first glimpse in the crystal-clear water I recognised the fish straight away! I couldn’t believe it; carp number five was a repeat! I was at the complete opposite end of the lake, using a completely different rig, but I couldn’t grumble as it was another bite and more importantly another bite from a new area which I had also been putting the effort into priming.


This next part is painful to write…

On the following weekend I got back into this swim again, as it was another scorching hot weekend. Saturday morning came around and I saw five or so shows and lots of fizzers. The activity was not directly on me, but not a million miles away! I was feeling confident and sure enough at 10AM the rod over to the tree line was away. I got the fish clear of any snags, but it had soon found a big bed of Canadian weed and wasn’t budging. I won’t go into too much detail, as it’s still haunting me now, but I ended up getting cut off by a swan mussel or snail, as it was like it had been done with a pair of scissors. I was absolutely wounded to say the least!

That brings me up to date. Six bites in four weeks. I was more than happy enough with that.

Hopefully you’ll hear more from me soon!

All the best.