First go at trotting

tobesfish

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I had my first go at trotting this morning, using a 13ft match rod I was given for my 11th birthday (19 years old, still in its wrapper!) I used maggots under a puddle chucker weighted waggled. It started off hard, i couldn't get a drift right and didn't get any bites after trying to build the swim with loose fed maggots. After an hour or so I went back to a favourite fly swim for perch and chub mainly because I can stand in wellies and cast into slower deeper water. lazy reasoning but it worked and I had 1.5 hours of fish every cast. I had roach and chub, I hadn't seen any roach in this river before but it must have been fish soup in there.

Have others tried something new recently?
 

tobesfish

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I'm getting the hang of this now and on my favoured spot it's always a silver fish every cast. Great... for a while. I'm now looking to try and find something bigger.
Is there anything I can do to get the bait to the larger fish without just waiting for the 1 in 100 that might be larger than the Iphone size roach that take my bait as soon as it hits the water?
 

qetu

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I'm getting the hang of this now and on my favoured spot it's always a silver fish every cast. Great... for a while. I'm now looking to try and find something bigger.
Is there anything I can do to get the bait to the larger fish without just waiting for the 1 in 100 that might be larger than the Iphone size roach that take my bait as soon as it hits the water?

If I were you I would move location as you will probably find that if you are only catching small fish the larger fish will have moved elsewhere due to the competition, the only larger fish will probably be the predators perch/pike feeding on the smaller fish. You could try heavier shotting to get the bait down through the shoal of smaller fish but that may be a negative tactic due to the flow not being fast enough to give you the right presentation of the trotted bait.
 

dave b

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Tobes which river is it and where are you fishing?

Regarding set up it depends on depth. Presentation and feeding both have a direct impact on what you will catch, however the key at this time of year now that the temps are dropping is location.

Set up on the waggler depending on pace and depth is simple. See below:

3ft shotting working from hook upwards, 1 x No8 10 ins from hook, 1 No 8 8ins above first shot. The rest of the shot should be around the base of the float.

4ft As above but with another dropper 8 ins above second dropper.

5-6 ft as above but add more No 8's to you have a bulk of 3 No 8's with 2 x No 8 droppers underneath

8ft swap the No 8's forming the bulk for No 6's with 2 x No 8 droppers below.

Casting. Cast slightly downstream with an upstream mend to straighten the line. Like fly fishing you want to achieve a drag free drift so feed the line accordingly. If its windy sink the line and feed the bow on the inside. Note the hook will still set, you simply strike against the bow.

Feeding. Get into the habit of feed, cast past the feed and then pull your float back into the feed so that your bait is falling through it.

Get rid of the puddle chuckers and get some straight peacock wagglers and some insert peacock wagglers. Use the inserts is slower water when the fish are taking on the drop and the straight wagglers for dragging line on the bottom, particularly when it's cold. In some conditions you can drag 18ins to 2.5 ft on the bottom, (very effective for big roach). Kamasan and Drennan floats, (not loaded) are recommended from 2AAA to 4AAA are recommended with 2.5 and 3AAA being the most commonly used, depending on water.

If you're fishing for roach and chub get some hemp and feed this with your maggots, it helps to attract and hold quality fish. If it's clear try fishing with hemp and caster and this will help to sort out the better fish, (substitute the maggots with caster).

Location.

Chub like far bank cover particularly big willows hanging on the water. They also like to sit just above run offs in winter, in the slightly steadier water so look for far bank gulleys, trees hanging in, holes, back eddies etc. Feed above these areas on the edge of the features with a view to coaxing the fish out, (they will come to the feed but be patient as it can take a while).

Roach like town centres and steady deeper water in winter. They also like shelves particularly when it's coloured when they can be caught quite close in.

Feeding is dependent on what weights or numbers of fish you expect to catch. Pleasure fishing 2 pints of maggot and 1 pint of hemp is usually more than enough for a good session, however on hard venues you can get away with cutting that in half. On very good venues you could get away with double the amount but you'd be looking at 30-40lb + of fish which is a lot of fish for a 5 hr session.

Feeding is the part most anglers struggle with. The rule little and often and you can't take it out once you've put it in are very true. The key to winter fishing is building the swim. I'll normally start by firing a couple of pouch full of hemp in just downstream, followed by a couple of pouch fulls of maggots. I then feed 10 -15 maggots per cast and go from there. Note I rarely feed upstream as the key is that your bait has to fall through the loose offerings in a natural manner and you have to be in control of your tackle which is impossible if you're feeding upstream. there are exceptions but it's easier if you keep it simple.

If I don't catch within 15 minutes I cut the feed in halve. If I catch form the start I carry on as I started but may start attacking the peg by feeding more positively, (either more peed per cast or I may even feed twice a cast), depending on what happens. The key is knowing when to cut back and when to attack but that only comes with experimentation and experience. An extra pouch full every now and then won't do any harm, particularly with chub.

Tell tale signs to watch for is fish dropping down the peg, ( too much feed can be the cause), and coming right onto your feed, intercepting it mid water, (not enough feed).

Set up for me is usually 0.16 low dia or 2.5lb standard diameter main line and a 0.10 hook length to an 18 and double maggot, (single caster). With chub I'm quite happy to step up to 3lb standard main line and 0.14 hook length to a size 14 Kamasan B611 and 3 maggots on the hook or a 16 with double caster.

There are no set rules, it's all about trial and error. Note in winter if you're catching fish you're in the right area however you need to be aware that small fish will be more tolerant of poor feeding and presentation than their bigger siblings.
 
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guest54

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I can only give you an instance of something that happened to me many years ago. I fished a particular canal on a regular basis and most of the roach were in the 2-6oz range, then one winter, after talking to the lock keeper, I started fishing a unpromising looking stretch, casters for bait, the roach averaged about a pound with the biggest at a pound and a half. It seemed that the bigger fish had a liking for that area and were unlikely to be caught elsewhere. Its something I've noticed many times at different venues, so, as suggested, try somewhere different, it need not be very far.
 

JeffR

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Just from your description of using a puddlechucker (ie bottom end attached float rather than a top and bottom attached stick) and fishing slow water, if you didn't have much weight down the line it could well be that the smaller fish are competing for your free offerings higher up in the water and the bait isn't getting chance to get down through them to where bigger fish maybe hovering up food off the bottom. You could try bulk shot lower down to get the bait down through the small fish quicker, or try chucking a leger rod out to see if there's anything bigger in the swim feeding off the bottom. Alternatively try fishing faster runs but you'll need to fish a stick float/avon/similat, rather than a bottom fixed waggler type pattern.
 

dave b

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Jeff

Big fish will come right up in the water as well as small fish and by the same token by fishing to heavy a bulk you may go straight past them. Big fish also have a tendency to sit back watching and intercepting bait falling naturally through the water. The whole point being you want your hook bait to be falling in a similar manner to your loose feed. If it falls quickly and gets to the bottom before your loose feed it is more likely to be intercepted by the small fish sitting at the front of the shoal first.

The point you've raised about ledgering is a good one as big roach often hang well back from the feed browsing in and out grazing on the bottom. A small bomb cast down the peg can be a very good method for picking up bonus fish in the last hours of daylight. On a light tip bites can be good positive pulls off proper roach, unlike the tap, tap you get with smaller fish.

In general you can fish a waggler even in fast water, however once the temperature drops and we have a few frosts the small fish will back off and the better quality fish will start to show in their usual winter holding spots. The key is knowing where these spots are.

I actually prefer winter fishing as you can often catch a lot more fish due to them being very tightly shoaled. On bigger rivers in clear water the waggler can be very effective and will often out fish the stick, however when you ask most people which they prefer to fish, most will say the stick. It's a bit like fly anglers choosing between dry fly and nymphing.
 

tobesfish

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thanks for all the help guys.
Dave this is on the ATAA beats of the frome and avon at Freshford. It seems the river is completely different on one side of the bridge to another. I had thought the creases where the two rivers meet would be a good holding spot but can't find anything there.

I don't really want to head down the ledgering route, I want the coarse fishing to feel as much like fly fishing as possible so i want to be mobile and active, certainly not watching a quivertip for hours on end.

I'm enjoying learning after beginning to feel stale on the trout water, having coarse fishing included helped justify the relatively high membership cost in my opinion.
 

dave b

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The difference between the two sports is with coarse fishing particularly with roach and chub, is that you select a likely fish holding area and bring the fish to you, building the swim by feeding. It's not instant and the swim has to be nurtured over a period of 4-5 hours, generally with the last two hours being the most productive as the fish gain confidence and compete for the feed.

This is totally different to fly fishing where you search the water and move on after you've covered it in search of fish.

The only exception to this is big chub and barbel fishing where you may introduce bread or particle baits in several likely areas and then fish the pre baited areas. Grayling fishing also differs in that many people take a roving approach catching a few fish from each area before moving on however a good angler can keep a shoal of grayling occupied for several hours without moving.

On the satalite maps the areas I would look at are the bends and trees above the confluence on the Frome and below the bridge on the Avon in the trees. The first 100 yds or so directly above confluences can also be good holding areas

Confluences tend to come into their own when the water is up. If the Avon is coloured and the Frome is at a decent level the first 100 yds of the Frome above the confluence will be a natural holding area. If both rivers are up and coloured there will be an eddy just below the confluence where the flow of the Frome will naturally push towards the far bank of the Avon. If you fish a stick float on the edge of the crease of the main current it should pay dividents. However the above is just a guide because without seeing and fishing the river, I can't guarantee the above as depth and flow are major factors that will dictate where the fish sit.

If the river is low look for the flow. Note coarse fishing is all about feeding combined with presentation.

The key is feeding consistently and correctly. If I had to give advice based on fly fishing it would be fish the stick in the dark pacey water on the edge of the current and fish the waggler on the flat slower glides. If you have a glide with close in depth and flow opt for the stick over the waggler.
 

JeffR

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Jeff

Big fish will come right up in the water as well as small fish and by the same token by fishing to heavy a bulk you may go straight past them. .....


.....In general you can fish a waggler even in fast water, however once the temperature drops and we have a few frosts the small fish will back off and the better quality fish will start to show in their usual winter holding spots. The key is knowing where these spots are.

Sure Dave, I was just responding to the situation the OP appeared to be describing where it seemed he was having trouble getting through the smaller fish but sometimes big fish can come up too.

Interesting point about waggler fishing - and I agree, I could fish waggler but I just feel like I have more control with the stick or Avon, ie being able to hold back/slow down better. I tend to think of waggler for longer range (ie casting). Do you find any actual advantage using the waggler within stick float range and if so do you use commercial carp style wagglers which are chunkier and more buoyant than the old style peacock/reed wagglers I am more used to for river work?

ps - "Trent Trotters" do you remember them? Short jobbies, fished bottom end only waggler style? Could do same with some of modern carp wagglers I guess
 
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dave b

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Jeff

The only time I'll fish the waggler on the stick line is in a very strong downstream wind so you can sink the line and fish the bow, dragging line of the bottom.

In the 80's the stick dominated a high percentage of river matches however when the water authorities started cleaning up the rivers we tended to find that the rivers which used to take a week to fine down and clear, tended to start clearing after 2 days. Also with increased water abstraction over the last decade they ran clearer and lower than in previous years and as a result, the fish moved out into the flow and on many rivers the far bank.

The stick, with a standard match rod is most effective at 1- 2 rod lengths out, with a slight upstream wind you can go that bit further. The waggler comes into it's own at 3 rod lengths + however in good conditions you are more likely to catch well on the waggler than the stick because the majority of fish will favour the middle to far bank of the river, particularly if the river is low and clear.

I can fish both methods equally well and although I've won a lot more matches on the waggler, like most anglers I prefer nothing better than a good session on the stick however the conditions have to be right and that is normally a little colour and a bit of extra flow to rule the waggler out.

As for floats I stick with peacock as Kamasan do a very good range of fat, thin and insert peacock floats to suit most scenarios. The only exception is if I want to fish meat in summer and drag it along the bottom or fish a large piece of flake at range for chub in winter in which case I'll use a styrofoam or balsa waggler.
 
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diawl bach

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The Angling Times has some nicely illustrated set ups for trotting different types of river here here

Apparently cormorant quills make a good substitute for crow quills in the construction of ye traditional avon float, I wonder how they get away with selling those?


Crowquill-Avon-rig.jpg




Stickfloat-rig.jpg






Chubber-rig.jpg
 

tobesfish

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FWIW normally means for what it's worth, not sure how that applies here?

e.g. FWIW wagglers seem to work pretty well trotting.
 

dave b

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TR

The term trotting comes from letting the float run, (think horse, run=trot). The waggler is one of the most effective float tactics used on rivers however it's rarely employed by trout anglers in pursuit of grayling.
 

empty creel

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Large Roach are rarely found in the same location as small (iphone :eek:mg:) Roach.
If bigger Roach are present they will be at the downstream end of the swim or hard on the bottom very carefully inspecting and selecting the odd tipbit or two.
To get these fish you cast outside your feed line, nearer the bank, speed it down beyond the shoal area then tighten up and let the float swing back behind the taking zone, you then stop the tackle and proceed to "boss the river" as you inch your bait downstream.

Big Roach often feed better in the last hour/s of daylight, lay in places that are harder to fish, more often on large baits and take their time eating a bait so dont be in a rush to strike,

Often the first sign you have hooked a big Roach is it surfacing immediately following the strike, it is also the time when a good fish will manage to 'get off' when hooked by a learner.
Worse is that loosing a big Roach in this manner will often inflict the kiss of death on the swim.

Forget maggots for big Roach, instead fish bread, it is the supreme bait for the better fish and all my best fish have come using bread, 1/4 of a slice of Warburtons :D

Lastly, you say "the Iphone size roach that take my bait as soon as it hits the water" are you certain they ARE roach and not.......eerrrrrr.........dace?

Whatever, have fun while it lasts, come the rains and they can/will turn off like a tap.
 

dave b

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In winter the fish on many venues migrate en mass, Herford on the Wye, Yarm on the Tees, March on the Nene, Kirkstead on the Witham etc. Big fish, little fish they all shoal together for safety so you have big fish and little fish together.

Sorry when it comes to winter fishing I disagree with your post particularly the bit about big roach surfacing as soon as hooked as they are powerful fish and give better account of themselves than chub of a similar size.

I also disagree about speeding your bait down the inside line and then swinging it back, would you do that with a fly? It's the most unnatural presentation you can get and that is something big roach rarely tolerate. If you want to get bread flake to them down the peg, you simply do it by chucking a small bomb down the peg using a quiver tip. It's a very effective way of fishing if that's what you like doing.

The bit about rain coming and turning the fish off like a tap is the biggest misnomer of all because every roach venue I've fished, fishes best with a touch of water and colour in and that's usually when the big fish feed.

The near side often inches from the bank providing you have depth, is one of the areas you need to prime for the last hour as that is when the big fish come in hugging the shelves looking for food.

Best conditions on the Wye in winter are 2.5-3ft up and a little colour. Most other rivers are between 6 and 18 ins up with a little colour and the big roach will often come right on top of the feed particularly if they are feeding confidently. The key to getting them feed confidently is correct feeding and competition for the food. You can do it with maggot, you can do it with caster however bread is more of an instant bait which you have to be very careful how you feed.

Roach fishing is as much about feeding as it is presentation and although you're a big advocate of bread, the only fish I would use bread for in winter is chub unless I was on a canal or a very slow river like the Nene at March where bread punch becomes a very viable option fishing for mainly small fish.

The best bait for attracting and holding bigger roach is hemp and caster however if it's cold and clear maggot will still catch big fish, the beauty being you simply don't know what you'll hook next. I'd also never advocate bread for somebody trying to get to grips with the basic principles of trotting because first of all he needs to get to grips with the basics of feeding and presentation and maggot is the simplest bait to start with.
 
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tobesfish

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Sorry about the size (iPhone) reference, it just fits and I'm not about to measure or weigh them!

definitely roach with their bright red fins and orange eyes and deeper, rounder outline. There are Dace in there too and I was surprised how markedly different they appear, they look more like the Chub than the roach to me. And yes...I'm sure they are Dace and not small Chub!

And Bleak

And Minnows
 

empty creel

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Hi Dave,
Nice to know your still on your peg.:)

Having crossed keyboards with you on this subject a number of times I know you come from a match angling background which is why you advise the methods tou do, and believe/know they are the way to success, or for you, winning.

I (and maybe the OP) come from the exact opposite, and I also fish the Wessex rivers atleast twice every week throughout each year, for both game and coarse fish.

The OP is extremely lucky in his pursuit of bigger Roach because two books have been written by a very dedicated Wessex Roach angler Mark Wintle (Big Roach 1&2) who has caught many very big Roach from the river Frome.
Interestingly Mark graduated to specialist angling from match fishing :D

Enjoy your fishing Dave, whichever way you choose, and if your down my way pm me and we can have a day together :thumbs:
 
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