Fishing for roach in winter

In winter, most fish species are not particularly active, and some generally hibernate until spring. This is especially evident in January-February, or, as fishermen say in the wilderness. A difficult time for both fish and anglers comes when the oxygen level in the water drops significantly. In such conditions, underwater inhabitants almost completely stop, stop eating, and do not pay any attention to baits. It would seem, what kind of fishing you can talk about, sit at home and wait for the spring heat. But still there is one fish, often helping out during periods of barking, which is usual for the middle of winter.

In the summer, few people catch her purposefully, and when she is on the hook, many are very annoyed. But in winter it is a very worthy trophy. We are talking about a roach (track) that can come under a hole in a large flock and reward a fisherman for his patience with an unforgettable fishing. It lives in all more or less large bodies of water (even non-flowing ones), bites throughout the year (depending on the weather, with varying success), besides, it grows to quite decent sizes. A fish weighing half a kilo is a great trophy! That is why roach fishing in winter is a very popular, exciting and gambling activity.

Place and time of fishing

A large number of sorogi in water bodies does not mean that it is easy to catch. In the cold season, it does not move as actively as in the summer, it is not always possible to lure it with a handful of bait. And if there is no fish under the hole, then neither fine-tuned tackle nor fishing tricks will help. In other words, you need to look for roach, and it often takes a lot of time.

Hole layout
Roach fishing spots in winter on the river

According to long-term observations, in winter it adheres to certain places from which to start searching. Let’s consider them in more detail:

  • Deep pits. Great depths attract many peaceful fish with their comfortable conditions. Here you can hide from predators and “warm up” a little, because at a depth of 7-8 meters, the water temperature is several degrees higher than at the surface. Usually the roach does not change the places of winter camps, from year to year these are the same holes. It is quite simple to find them, the reference point is a dense concentration of fishermen or the holes left by them.
  • River bed. For wintering, roach also often chooses the channel part of the reservoir, where there is not only a suitable depth, but also a current. Lakes and reservoirs with stagnant water are not included here, this applies exclusively to rivers. Even a very weak water flow maintains an oxygen regime and brings food, and the fish don’t need anything else. It is not surprising that in such places trophy specimens of the soroga are most often found.
  • Roach in the waterBays. If the depth of the bay exceeds 3 meters, it should also be classified as a promising place. Although the fish here is smaller than in the channel holes, it is not so capricious. Just for a novice winter angler, especially since it is not difficult to see the perimeter of the bay even in winter.
  • Areas with a raised bottom. It is not a problem to find them on a familiar reservoir, but on an unknown one you can find them by chance. It happens that one fisherman has already “grown” a mountain of roach, and a neighbor nearby did not wait for a bite. What’s the matter? The first one was lucky enough to get on a ridge, a pit or some other bottom anomaly, and the second one lowers the bait onto an absolutely flat surface. In this case, he has only two options: wait for the competitor to catch his fill and leave, or look for his catchy place.
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Roach is excellently caught in early winter, in late and early spring (on the first and last ice). Several bursts of activity of this fish are observed during the day. As a rule, this happens in the early morning, at noon hours and an hour and a half before dark.

Tackle and fishing methods

There are two main methods of fishing roach off ice: with and without a bait. Any of these options can be effective, therefore, the angler’s arsenal should have both a float rod and a rod for fishing with a no-nozzle jig. Requirements for both are about the same:

  • Fishing rod in handa light rod with a reel (a balalaika is best suited);
  • a long nod that allows you to play smoothly with a jig;
  • high-quality monofilament with a thickness of 0.08-0.1 mm for a track weighing up to 200 g or 0.12-0.14 mm for larger individuals;
  • a float with a carrying capacity of no more than 0.5 g, a weight in the form of a pellet and a hook No. 3 or 4 according to the domestic classification (for a float rod).

Tackle for catching larger roach in pits with the current looks somewhat different. In this case, you will need a durable rod with a long handle and a comfortable reel that allows you to quickly release and reel the line when necessary. The line diameter can be up to 0.18 mm. The function of the bite alarm is usually performed by a spring, at the end of which a bright colored plastic ball is attached. Since in the current conditions one cannot do without a leash, feeder mounts are used for such fishing: paternoster, inline or helicopter. The length of the leash (as well as the weight of the sinker) is selected taking into account the strength of the water flow, and the hooks must be proportionate to the object of fishing.

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Each of the fishing methods is good in its own way and has its supporters. Someone likes to deceive fish with a seductive rewinder game, bending over the hole, and the laziest fishermen prefer to fish with a float, sitting on a box and warming their hands in their pockets. Success in both cases depends on the experience and skill of the angler, as well as knowledge of the nuances of such fishing.

Fishing with a jig

Nobody says that roach is a stupid fish, but it is easy to catch with artificial bait if you give it the right animation. Fishing for roach in winter with a jig involves using a bait with a nozzle or a rewinder. The main technique in such fishing is smooth low-frequency oscillations of the bait, to which the soroga readily responds.

Fishing rod with jigYou can play with a jig over the bottom surface, with a simultaneous rise to a height of up to half a meter, slow down or smooth swinging. It is sometimes helpful to pause to freeze the bait in place and then set it in motion again. A light tapping of the jig on the bottom soil, raising a small cloud of turbidity, can also provoke a bite of roach. The mood of the object of catching sometimes changes at the speed of sound, so you can’t do without experiments in this matter.

Jigs are used in a variety of ways. For catching with replanting bloodworms and other living creatures, a pellet is most often used, and a devil, an ant, a drop, an uralochka and a goat are recognized as the best rewinder for winter fishing for roach.

Float fishing

Fishing for roach in winter on a float does not imply any game, you just need to throw the tackle and carefully monitor the bite alarm. A float rod is a tool of sedate and important winter fishermen who do not want to look for a catchy hole throughout the reservoir. Many of them come in the evening to feed the chosen point abundantly, and in the morning to fully enjoy their favorite pastime. You can fish with such a tackle without a float, but on condition that it is equipped with a sensitive guard.
Float winter rig
To catch roach with a float rod, various baits and nozzles are used. The bloodworm has always been and remains the best, further on the list are maggots, worms, dough and semolina. With active biting, it is advisable to plant several larvae on the hook at once, so the nozzle will look even more seductive.


Like any other fish in the cold period, the soroga prefers high-calorie protein foods, therefore, animal components must be present in the bait. For example, bloodworms or crushed red worms. The basis is almost always breadcrumbs, and the angler chooses the rest of the ingredients at his discretion. The following mixture has proven itself well:

  • Groundbait in handcrackers – 60%;
  • ground sunflower seeds – 10%;
  • bran – 10%;
  • powdered milk for a bundle – 10%;
  • bloodworm – 10% (added just before use).
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It should be noted that the sense of smell is highly developed in roach, so odorous substances will not interfere with the bait. In the described recipe, these are seeds that must be fried before chopping. Instead of them, ready-made cake is also often used (in the common people, macuha).

Fishing tactics

If the reservoir has been studied for a long time and the fishing grounds are known, then only bad weather can interfere with successful fishing. On an unfamiliar lake or river, you will have to conduct “reconnaissance in force”. First, you need to choose a promising site, focusing on the coastal relief and old holes. Then feed them or drill a dozen of your own with an interval of at least 7-8 meters.

Winter fishingWhen all holes are fed (with a small amount of food), you can start looking for roach, catching them in turn. You should start with the one in which the first portion of the bait mixture went and gradually move to the last.

If confident bites occur on one of the holes, this is not a reason to stay on it until the end of the fishing trip, forgetting about the rest. It must be thoroughly fed, that is, add more feed, and move on. Thus, after fishing the entire plot, only two or three working holes will remain, under which the roach will stand, attracted by delicious food.

Useful advice

In order for a promising hole to work flawlessly, you cannot knock it out completely, which is called in one sitting. After catching a couple of roach, it is better to move on to the next one, and then return again. The fish remaining at the point will actively swarm in the silt, looking for food particles, and thereby attract their relatives.

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