Irish Record 2.1 Kilo taken on 5.05.2009 by Terry Jackson at River Lagan.
Specimen 1.98lb, or 0.9 kilo
With this hybrid, the dorsal fin is large and located behind the pelvic fins. The anal fin has 9-13 branched rays and there are 39-46 scales along the lateral line. The body is “Roach-like” in appearance, with darker fins and normally a gold-bronze hue running through the upper reaches of the flanks. For accurate identification if you wish to claim a specimen or record, carefully removed 2-3 scales and submit them to The Irish Specimen Fish Committee, along with clear photographs of the head, mouth and fins.
Where to catch
It is becoming quite difficult these days to target pure Roach in Ireland. This is the result of years of natural cross-breeding with Rudd, our indigenous cyprinid specie. New advances in DNA examination show that although most large Roach may look as they should, in reality, and in quite a few cases, there is a percentage of Rudd or Bream somewhere in their ancestry.
Consequently, Roach-Rudd are a common hybrid in Ireland, so much so that the Specimen Committee recently decided to add this as a new category, which means for the specimen hunter, a new target species.
I have noticed on my own local “big Roach” waters in the relatively short time of ten years, analysis of specimen fish are showing less and less of the pure strains with greater hybridisation occurring. I am pleased that I caught my pure Roach when I did!
Most Roach-Rudd are currently caught on the Inniscarra Reservoir, Cork. Whether this is the increase in angling activity on this water, or a genuine explosion of hybrids, I cannot say, but it certainly holds a healthy stock. It is fair to say that this species will be found in almost all waters, as most waters containing Rudd were eventually over-run with Roach. It is likely most hybrids caught are simply noted as Roach, as it is almost impossible to tell the difference without DNA study.
When to catch
Typical of most Irish coarse fish, good catches coincide with the rise in air and water temperature prior to spawning, late spring. April-June are usually more productive, with fish remaining active throughout the summer months and into autumn.
It is little surprise that maggots, caster, sweet corn and sections of worm are the top baits, with plenty of boiled hemp seed, crushed hemp and caster in the feed. Roach-Rudd hybrids respond well to pre-baiting and constant feed introduction.
Favourite method is fishing the quivertip-swimfeeder tactics, accurately dropping the feeder over a pre-baited swim. This is standard “bread and butter” coarse angling. Be prepared to fish into the night for the larger specimens, when the activity of smaller fish quietens down somewhat. 4lbs b/s mainline onto a 2.5lb b/s hook-length is ideal providing there are no obvious obstacles such as weed growth, lilies etc. If so, obviously step the line rating up a little. I prefer size 10 hooks, packed with maggot and caster in a bid to select the larger fish.