Martin Bowler’s roach haul.

peter crabtree

Well-known member
That's rather a cynical reply S63, there again you may be right. But, this fantastic feat of angling was the result of firstly locating those fish by talking to the regulars, then working out the optimum method to catch them.
Couple that with studying the meteorological forecasts, waiting for the opportune moment to have a go at them, and bingo ...
Every aspect of his approach was carefully planned, not some chuck it and hope attempt.
I also wonder why, if those fish had grown big on carp bait, they would bother with maggots which hold little or no nutritional value?
 

s63

Well-known member
I didn’t intend that to be cynical in the least Peter. I fish a large venue where the Rudd grow to immense sizes, the carpers get truly miffed when Rudd snaffle their 15mm boilies which are piled in by the bucket load.

Takes absolutely nothing away from Martins red letter day.
 
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nottskev

Well-known member
Both the catches mentioned here are phenomenal. Of course Martin Bowler's catch is a great planned capture, and his track record is there for all to see. I don't think it harms your chances though if you've been mentored by one of the best, have access to some exclusive fisheries and benefit from a top-level grapevine that alerts you to rare opportunities. That's not to detract - just to add a perspective.
 

john step

Well-known member
That's rather a cynical reply S63, there again you may be right. But, this fantastic feat of angling was the result of firstly locating those fish by talking to the regulars, then working out the optimum method to catch them.
Couple that with studying the meteorological forecasts, waiting for the opportune moment to have a go at them, and bingo ...
Every aspect of his approach was carefully planned, not some chuck it and hope attempt.
I also wonder why, if those fish had grown big on carp bait, they would bother with maggots which hold little or no nutritional value?
Peter I agree with everything except I am a little doubtful that maggots have little nutritional value. I have read that insects are full of nutrition so the extension to that is that maggots are insects.
 

sam vimes

Well-known member
There are probably many waters like this where carp are the only fish fished for and the rest of the fish, some like these are never caught.
That's undoubtedly true. However, there's more than the odd "big carp" water that isn't anywhere near being as exclusively carp as you might think. For many "syndicate" is synonymous with carp, even when this was never the intention of the person running the syndicate. My own syndicate is just like this. It was set up specifically to be a mixed fishery. However, the reality is that it attracts 90% carpers (who seem to be far more willing to pay than more general coarse anglers), despite holding tench and bream that you'd struggle to better inside of at least 50 miles. I don't specifically target the carp on this water at all.

The other side of the coin is the carp waters that go to great lengths to remove other species and those that implement rules that prohibit methods lighter than full on carping kit.
 
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terry m

Well-known member
Bowler is a class act, shows humility too.


His angling achievements may have opened doors to waters that others may not have access too but that does not trouble me.

As others have said there are countless waters, both syndicate and club that have become labelled as carp venues, but hold good specimens of other species.
 

theartist

Well-known member
It's a great catch, always nice to see large roach in good condition. Well done that man!

I don't think Roach really fatten up as they are not always bottom grazers like other species when they mature and they will always love maggots too, I feel that they will always have an edge over fish like carp and barbel when it comes to feeding up in mid water. That's why they always look impressive and you'll rarely see one with a fat gut hanging down like most other species

Watching them in aquariums swims on various rivers you see how they counteract the barbel for instance if the barbel are grazing vigorously hoovering the bottom the roach will take stance intercepting the feed mid water, often intercepting just one item each time as it falls. Then if the barbel come up in the water to do the same the roach will retreat a little either to the tail of the swim or close in away from the main source of competition. Here you see them picking at the odd item of bait off the bottom if the competition from larger fish is mid water. That's why barbel are often the bane of the roach angler as it's sometimes impossible to get through them to the roach even if you know the roach are feeding, fun though trying.

I'm pretty sure you can replicate that scenario on still waters with fish like carp and whilst I'm guessing he caught them on the bottom the fall of maggots always draws fish like roach on to the scene due to their competetiveness in all water levels

Just a few observations but then again I am a bit biased as I love the roach. Are they smarter than other fish, or just more versatile when feeding with other shoal fish? Jack of all trades masters of none? I'd like to think not and that they are often cruising about knowing that no matter what the weather or water conditions they can be found, just doing their thing and always up for a bit of grub.
 
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Mark Wintle

Well-known member
It's a truly great catch of roach and pleased to see true roach at their best.

I don't understand the 'record' claim as there are no real records of multiple catches although plenty of reports of tremendous catches over the years but these reports are not verified with the vigor of a record claim.

I can relate to trying to catch big roach from among the barbel on the Stour. One day I managed to get a 2lber on casters and fine gear then got broken by a barbel which liked the casters then switched to double corn on heavy gear and promptly caught a near 2lb roach before finally finding a way to tempt a barbel using casters and appropriate gear. On a nearby swim another day even feeding just 4 or 5 grains of hemp brought in barbel which my fine gear was not match for them though in between I had more big roach on a tare.
 

Philip

Well-known member
His angling achievements may have opened doors to waters that others may not have access too
Thats what the cynics always skip over. It often takes many years of graft to get to the point were you can get access to info and permission to fish certain places. Same when people maon about sponsored anglers…they have been sponsored for a reason.
To my mind Martin Bowler has earned the right to fish the waters he does and good luck to him. Its a fantastic catch and they look like true Roach to me too.

Carp ! ....no surprise to see them brought into the discussion. Yes its marvelous to see yet another example of Anglers fishing for other species benefiting from Carp and Carp anglers. A big hats off to all the Carpers who pump so much money time and effort into the sport benefiting everyone.

I love the roach. Are they smarter than other fish, or just more versatile when feeding with other shoal fish?
Well the fact they are probably the most frequently caught fish would mean they are unlikely to be he smartest.

I would say the big ones are difficult to catch because there are less of them. Its as simple as that.
 
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theartist

Well-known member
Well the fact they are probably the most frequently caught fish would mean they are unlikely to be he smartest.

I would say the big ones are difficult to catch because there are less of them. Its as simple as that.


Oooh That's just stirring up trouble lol :D
 

Mark Wintle

Well-known member
I don't think big roach are smart either but they can be very fickle and all but impossible to catch at times, yet there are times when the very same fish as easy to catch. Sometimes it's all about weaning them onto the right bait, or waiting for the right conditions or time of day, other times they feed in conditions that defy logic. there's no doubt that skillful angling is going to put more big ones on the bank and that skill includes location, feeding, timing and bait presentation, as well as not scaring them.
 

flightliner

Well-known member
I've been fortunate to have fished three waters that had a large number of big roach over my Angling lifetime and my experience of catching them would suggest that they can be pretty easy .
All three waters fished better after dark, maybe up to 8pm then they would switch off.
One thing consistant about these venues tho is they don't last long, quickly peaking then crash bang -- done !
 
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