Bait and Tackle for Rudd Fishing
Almost any ROACH bait will also succeed for rudd and improvisation with grubs, pond skaters, and insects from marginal weed will often prove successful. Among the best baits are bread derivatives, worms, maggots, chrysalids, and natural and articial flies presented on fly tackle.
For bread flake, the soft inside crumb from a fresh, new loaf is squeezed on the hook with the edges left irregular, or it may instead be first squeezed in the middle to make a compact nucleus through which the hook is inserted. Fished as a slowly sinking bait this is excellent.
Bread crust can be pressed overnight by damping it in the steam from a boiling kettle and then placing it in a tie-press. In the morning the rubbery crust which results is cut into squares or triangles for the hook, or may simply be bitten in irregular pieces. For most fish a piece about 6 mm (¼ in) square is quite large enough.
Stale bread cut into 6 mm (1/4 in) cubes and fished on a No. 10 or 12 hook makes a good mid-water bait.
Flour pastes from white or wholemeal flour are very telling baits, but the self-raising flours tend to spoil during the day and plain flour should be used for preference. Bread paste, made as described for ROACH, is also successful, and cheese-flavoured baits are extremely good on many waters.
A single maggot, lightly hooked on a No. 10 or 12, will often take good fish, but a pair or a bunch can be used when the presence of larger fish is suspected. The slowly sinking maggot is a useful technique. Hook sizes will vary according to the water.
Bloodworms are an extremely good bait, but must be presented on small hooks (say an 18 or 20). Fished on the bottom, or among the weed margins they will take good-quality fish. Redworms and brandlings are also tempting to rudd, especially when presented on slowly sinking tackle. Worms fished on the bottom often take better fish.
Maggot chrysalids (and indeed the chrysalids of any small insect) are very valuable when fished with aon the surface.
Small slugs take good fish, but require to be carefully cast lest they fly from the hook. Young snails, of about a quarter-inch shell size, are splendid baits. They should be hooked through the soft edge of the shell. Rudd often take these as they sink.
Freshwater shrimps are sometimes very good baits when lightly hooked through the back so as to leave the shrimp free to wriggle.
During the period when ants are mating over the pond the fish will frequently look at nothing else.
Powdered ground-baits which provide a floating cloud, with a small amount of slowly sinking, finely ground biscuit or bread, are by far the best. A moored crust attached by cotton to a stone is valuable in bringing feeding fish into the vicinity.
One of the best rudd ground-baits is made of a mixture of dry, floating crust covered with biscuit. The biscuit flakes off the floating crust in a fine sinking cloud, and the bait is presented in the midst of the cloud. This often takes the bigger fish.
Ground-baiting should always be sparingly applied, particularly in still waters, where a little goes a very long way. When rudd fishing it is always useful to throw in a few small pieces of the hook-bait at intervals.
The ROACH rod is very suitable for rudd fishing, but in most waters fairly long casts are often needed and for these a rod with all-through action is better. In rivers and canals the match-type rod can be used with considerable success.
Choice of reel depends on the angler. Some prefer centre-pins for canal and sluggish river fishing, but in lakes or ponds ais more suitable. Line of about 1.5 kg (3 lb) should be right with this, weed permitting. Where ultra-fine tackle is needed, the terminal tackle and hook link could with advantage be reduced to 1 kg (2 lb) or even 500 g (1 lb) b.s. Care must be taken to inspect the cast at intervals if frequent long casting is employed.
Floats; porcupine quills are much favoured in many waters, but bubble floats and perch bobs are often used when longer distances must be covered. Almost any float can be used provided it gives suitable visibility at the distance and is properly shotted.
When shots are used on the cast they are usually distributed over the top half or just beneathto allow the bait to sink slowly. Where longer casting is needed, at least one shot must be arranged more than half-way down the cast to prevent the hook from flying back around the float in mid-air. Bubble floats can be free on the line, with a single dust shot just below the bubble to prevent it from sliding down on the hook link. The line is then free to run through the float when a fish takes. The line above the float must be well greased to ensure that it floats.