NOT so long ago if you asked any angler what was the first fish he caught the odds are that the reply would be a roach.
But these days, especially amongst the younger anglers, it would most likely be a carp.
However, the popularity of the roach has never really declined and it is still my favourite.
I will never forget the day when I caught my personal best, a fish of 2lbs 2oz from the River Nidd at Skip Bridge.
It would appear that anglers today are becoming bored with carp and silver fish contests, with all fish counting except carp, are becoming very popular.
anglers are just beginning to realise the vast population of fish such as roach and bream which now inhabit the commercial lakes.
In the colder months, while carp do feed periodically, they do tend to shoal up and unless you draw on one of these shoals you are in for a difficult day’s fishing.
Traditionally, anglers have been using the same baits and tactics which they used in the summer but with limited success.
However, they have found that a change to the more conventional baits, such as maggots and casters, have provided many more bites.
over the winter months many fisheries have found that the silver fish-only matches have proved very popular and the owners have responded by stocking still more roach and bream into their waters.
such is the demand for these fish that the Environment Agency breeding centre at Calverton has a full order book for the year and most of the country’s fish farmers are in the same situation.
Ask most anglers if they would rather sit all day for half a dozen bites that produce six five-pound carp or get a bite a chuck and finish with 30 pounds of roach, my money would be on the latter.
I heard that one of the lakes at the popular Kippax park complex, which has been used primarily for fly fishing for trout for the past five years, is following the trend and is currently being restocked with roach, bream and ide after many requests from regular visitors.
● The fishing tackle industry is warning that the rapidly-increasing costs of raw materials could lead to a huge increase in the price of baits such as pellets and groundbait in the near future.
Reports suggest that costs are on the increase all round and, in addition, the price of packaging, such as plastic and cardboard, is also soaring.
add to this the price of petrol and diesel and postage and it is going to be difficult to maintain prices at their current level.