ROACH. This fish is found chiefly in deep still rivers, where it is often seen in large shoals. In roach are in season, which is from Michaelmas to March, their scales are very smooth, but when they are out of season, these feel like the rough side of an oyster-shell. Their fins also are generally red when the fish is in perfection. They spawn towards the latter end of May, and, for three weeks after, are unwholesome. They recover about July, but are not very good till Michaelmas. They are supposed to be the best in February or March. The roe is green, but boils red, and is peculiarly good. In April, the cads or worms are proper baits to angle for roach; in summer, small white snails or flies. Roach will frequently take the fly very fast, and the same observation will equally apply to the dace, bleak, and several other fish of minor consideration.
" Roaches be accounted," says Isaac Walton, " much better in the river than in a pond, though ponds usually breed the biggest," He adds, "The Thames, I believe, affords the largest and fattest in this nation, especially below London Bridge, which has been attributed to their feeding on shrimps." Roach seldom exceed two pounds in weight.
Harewood, Harry. A Dictionary of Sports. London: T. Tegg and son, 1835
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