Terry with his Irish record Rudd/roach
When it all started for me
As I mentioned I was invited to fish the water were Terry caught the current Irish record it is a long drive from cork and as I arranged Terry handed me the yearly fishing permit that I needed to fish this area. With the gear set up and the bait put out it was not long before Andrew landed the first fish of the session
Andrew with this cracking Rudd/roach hybrid
As the weekend went on we landed some crackers but nun as big as Terry’s, it is amazing how much ground bait that you need when there is small fish lurking in your swim. Whit the session finished and some of these fat fish landed weighed and returned I was delighted with my new PB that weighed 2lb 12oz
As I was on my way home I was thinking about how Terry picked an area to ambush shoaling fish and the need to constantly pre-bait when the weather is right, it seemed to be a deadly way in holding big fish. However, as the sea fishing was in full flight, I did not get another chance to try out what I have learnt until the following year. With the new specimen fishing season started and some research done by using a boat and fish finder on the lee reservoir, we had four areas that look good for holding fish as they moved around the reservoir in late May and July. The plan was locate the fish in these areas by boat and then pre-bait for a week, this worked better than we taught with some large roach up to 2lb 8oz with some of their cousins just under the specimen weight. We knew from this session that these fish had a few weeks more before there were ready to spawn this will give them that one or two oz that we needed to brake the specimen weight. With the bait still going in and just over a week later it was time to see was all the pre-baiting worth it. As we were fishing, we were hitting small fish and there were fat a pigs we knew if we could hit one of the larger fish that we had 8 days before we were in with a good chance. As it was approaching the witching hour, my rod bent right over. With the fish, thumping the rod I knew it was a good one and as we put the net under it, you could see it was fat, with the fish unhooked and in the sling it weighed in at 2lb 7oz
Over the years, I have used a coarse seat box but found when I was walking a good distance with my rods, brolly and bait it was back breaking. I decided to use a seat with adjustable legs this year and instead of a brolly, I use a beach igloo what a difference. I can rap my rods up in the beach igloo and put it over my shoulder when I am walking. It is fast and so easy to set up and if the ground is too rocky to peg all I have to do is put the rocks on the flaps that around the end of it. The chair makes some difference when you are doing a long session it supports my back unlike the seat box and it’s about a third of the weight. I am buying attachments for my chair that look something like the seat box ones they look good I hope they will do the job.
Ground bait is important to get right if it is to dry it will not stick to your feeder and most of it will drift away from where you are hook bait is sitting. if it is too wet it will fall off when you cast, but when you get it right it will stick to your feeder as you are casting but when it hits the water it explodes and releases the bait through the different lairs of the water with the majority of it around your hook bait.
2014 the hunt for the Rudd/Roach
It is now May and the fish are finely starting to move, with 5 days of pre-baiting done it was time for Dan and me to go fishing. With an early start ( 4.30am) and the rods and bait in position it was the luck of the draw what size fish was going to take the bait and of coarse we were being plagued by small fat fish. As the morning pushed into late afternoon i was into my first decent fighting fish of our session, as it neared the net i could it was a Rudd/roach hybrid
As the darkness was closing in the larger fish seemed to be on the hunt, with several large hybrids in our keep nets I taught we were going to bag up and just like that, they disappeared. With the fishing over it was time to weigh our spoils, I had 5 over specimen and 4 just under with the heaviest one weighing 2lb 9oz down to 2lb 2oz. Dan had one over with 7 just one ounce shy, the only thing is we have a few weeks before they will spawn.
3 of my top fish left 2lb 9oz right 2lb 3oz and on my lap 2lb 5oz what a hard day fishing but worth it at the end.
Two o clock the next day Nick was waiting for me with his sun Connor at the Fountain House B&B that is on the Cork side of mackroom, this is one of my favourite spots on the Lee system and it only has one or two snags it a few hundred yards of fishable bank. As Nick set up his rods I left Connor use my as it was clipped to the distance were I was hooking them crackers the day before. With roach after roach being landed, it was nearing the time when the larger fish moved in. it was an hour before dark when Connor shouted I am in, I could see the rod thumping. I had my fingers crossed that it was a specimen, with the large fish landed, I knew it was over specimen and with the needle at 2lb 4oz I could see the delight in Connors face
This 2lb 4oz Rudd/roach hybrid was Connors first specimen of the specie, well done Connor.
The next night Dan took his daughter Sara and as lady luck was on her side she landed this 2lb 11oz Rudd-roach hybrid the largest so far.
Sara 2lb 11oz Rudd/roach hybrid from the lee system
Tips and bait
1; It works out cheaper if you are fishing with four or five anglers the more anglers the better because you can rotate fishing days and the fish know that they will be food there when they come looking.
2; when buying ground bait do not buy cheap buy a brand that has proven itself over the years for match anglers.
3; buy a sack of brown crumb, hemp, layers mash, maze flack then get some tins of sweet corn. Get some maggots as close to the day you are fishing and make sure to keep them dry and cool.
4; preparing hemp, soak for at least 12 hours and boil for 20 minutes after the 20minutes pour into a bucket and put the lid on, this will keep the water hot and the hemp will start splitting.
5;preparing layers mash, when you arrive at the water edge put 2kg it into the bucket and add water or hemp juice until it is just under the top lair and leave it for 5 minutes. Then put your hands through it to break it up.
6; next hemp, put 1kg of pre- boiled hemp in and mix
7; next brown crumb, add 2kg and mix, by know it should be getting sticky if not add more crumb
8; next ground bait, add 2kg of sweet ground bait and mix as good as you can by rubbing the bait in between your hands or across a sieve this will make the bait fluffy, if it two dry add water.
9; next add sweet corn and maggots to give the larger fish something to eat.