MATT DELABRUYERE dodged some dodgy weather to top a great haul of fish with ten 1 lb-plus roach, the best 1 lb 14 oz.

The 30-year-old fire risk assessor from Colchester, Essex, scored on a small river. He told Angler’s Mail how he did it…

“I fished early Saturday morning after carefully monitoring the weather all week, as I wanted to avoid the worst of the impending storm,” said Matt.

“My method was simple. I trotted a small stick float on 3 lb floating main line to a 2 lb trace and a size 16 barbless hook. It was the first time that I have properly targeted big roach.

“I baited with red maggots, feeding a few swims on arrival, and then little and often once I found the fish.

“The fish all came from deeper channels in runs. The roach disappeared when I started to catch dace, but they returned after resting and feeding the swim.

Matt carefully releases one of his big roach.

“In a few hours, I landed ten roach, all over 1 lb, along with a 2 lb perch, chub to around 2 lb, a rudd of 1 lb 8 oz and some dace.

“A number of good-sized roach also managed to better me, disappearing downriver mid-fight.

“It was an amazing session that lasted around three hours, just before the rain lashed down, when conditions made it extremely difficult to fish effectively.

“Water was pouring into the river from the nearby fields and roads, and trees were creaking and snapping all around me in the winds.”

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