Rutilus rutilus

Current British record: 4lb 4oz (2006) Keith Berry, Northern Ireland Stillwater


The Roach is a fantastic staple to any anglers fishing log. This silvery fish is one of the most common caught species in UK waters. With its high tolerance to pollution and its non fussy eating habits, This species will eat the majority of meals on the menu. Adult species are usually deep bodied, especially when living in conditions that suit its feeding needs. With its small head and tail, this fish can at times look similar to other species. Roach are best known for their bright orange to red anal and pelvic fins.


To date, the largest Roach landed in the UK stands at 4lb 4oz, this is a big catch especially when the specimen weight is at 1lb 08oz. Although there are large Roach around, the average weight for this species is around four to six ounces.


The maximum size of an adult Roach is around fourteen inches from top to tail.


Studies show that the average Roach will survive for a maximum of 15 years. Average lifespan ranges from 10 to 15 years.


Roach are the most common UK fish species and show up in most environments. From rivers and canals to lakes and gravel pits these guys will thrive anywhere. The Roach is a very skilled species who will adapt to any environment, although Roach do prefer dense weed, slow waters and variable depths of water.


Roach are shoaling fish and will stay within a shoal throughout their life. Its thought that once one is on the hook there are plenty more waiting to feed.


Roach are generally bottom to low level feeders. They are fast biters and will whip away any bait without hesitation. Roach will rarely rise to the surface to feed. They may make the journey to the top on hot days when the oxygen content of the water is low and when there are plenty of natural insects to feed upon. Research suggests that Roach are more hungry from June to October. Their feeding times favour dawn and dusk.


The male Roach will hit adulthood between two to four years depending on the environment. The females may take a little longer to develop and can reach adulthood between three to five years.


Females will lay between 1000 to 15000 eggs within the months of April to early June. The months may vary depending on the temperature of the water. The optimum temperature is between 8 and 14 degrees centigrade. Roach will lay in dense weed but have also been known to lay in large gravel areas.


All information is from a variety of sources, if you think we have missed something? Email with your update.

See you on the bank.

The Fishing UK Team!

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