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Roach fishing in winter

Heinrich Dettweiler

It is fun to go roach fishing in winter, because then you are alone and undisturbed on the waterfront.  My favourite place for fishing is the rhine-main-danube canal (RMD). Because of the ships, the RMD canal rarely freezes in winter and the water moves constantly, so the fish find food even in winter. 

As a furniture consultant I have to take a holiday to go fishing, because the days are very short. I also have to hope that my wife does not find work for me. The evening before, I prepare the fishing equipment like holdall, platform, special pillow, carryall and winter suit. Then I prepare the food for attracting the fish, so that it will be really wet the next morning. I start the next morning after a quick breakfast, I put the whole equipment into the car, not to mention the thermos flask and the lures.

After arriving at the RMD canal, I built my platform to stand or sit safely. I want to fish with a 11.5 pole with a shortened line and a 8m long tele rod. Because I know the canal very well, I know that these lengths are sufficient. I choose a very fine montage. At the top I install a 12 line, 10 rig which is 25cm long with a 16 hook. I have as a float a HD 8 with a lifting capacity of 1.5gr and a leader. The second top is equipped in the same way, but the float is a HD with only 1 gr. The tele rod also gets a installation with a lifting capacity of 1.5 gr. The deposits, the holders for the keep net and the food tub, the landing net, the food tube and the bait boxes finally found all their place. Now I only have to plumb exactly and I can start to fish.

Because the water is standing, I feed only 5-6 nuggets which are losely sqeezed. After that I shoot a few maggots with the maggot catapult  and loose hemp seed in the water. Half an hour passes without a movement, without a bite, and I still feed small portions. It is freezing cold and I pour myself the first cup of coffee which will warm my hands and stomach. There I have the idea that the roaches also want something warm and put a hardly moving maggot into my pocket.

After a few minutes I put the maggot on the montage and it is unbelievable, the bait hardly touches the ground and the first fish is caught. A small and light roach, but it is a beginning. Now I add a little bit of anise as attractant, which is very attracting for roaches in winter. Within a short time several fish bite. Because it is the normal way to catch for middle size roaches, I change from the pole to the long line to be faster.  So I caught 10- 12 roaches up to 300 gramm. Then I have to change the pole again, because the canal develops a current and I can guide the bait better. Therefore I also catch fish in currents. 

In winter it is already a lot if 10 or 12 fish are caught within an hour. Depending on the current, there are several biting breaks. The changing biting conditions make the time fly and the coldness is not recognized. At that time of the year it gets dark early and so I start to wrap up early. Now I take my 5 or 6 most beautiful roaches back home for dinner. It is the evidence that I really went fishing. So I drive home and I am happy for the wonderful and successful fishing day despite the coldness.

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