Fishing Methods for Catching Rudd
By far the best form of presentation for rudd is at, or close to, the surface. In deep lakes, the bottom weeds often grow up to within a few feet of the surface. In marginal waters these weeds usually break surface and fish feeding in the margins can often be seen. Those feeding farther out, however, are often to be found at a depth of up to 3 or 3.6 m (10 or 12 ft), just above the upper fringes of the deeper-rooted weed. In a river this might be considered deep water, but in such a lake it is fairly close to the surface. Baits presented at such depths, and over deep weed, are frequently very effective in taking good-quality fish. Often the better specimens feed here during the daytime, and cruise into marginal waters only at night, or at about dusk.
Fish feeding at some distance from the banks usually do so very confidently. They can sometimes be detected by their occasional rises at the surface. Failing this, especially in waters where the fisherman is not familiar with the bottom contours and the location of weed beds, it is necessary to search the water methodically by making long casts, covering a different sector each time. Fanwise casting like this, with the process repeated at different range, is often the only way to discover confidently feeding groups of fish.
For this long casting, fairly heavy tackle must be employed, so it is fortunate that rudd are not particularly tackle-shy provided they have not first been alarmed by the angler. At distances of 6-12 m (20-40 ft) from the bank, this is quite unlikely. The fish tend to be short-sighted and when they are lying in deep water their effective ‘window’ is limited, even if it is not already impaired by the colour of the water.
When feeding fish are found, it is sometimes useful to overcast, drawingright back to the right spot. This avoids unnecessary splashing over the heads of the fish, as the heavy tackle hits the water at some distance from the angler. The rudd are far less likely to be scared by a gently moving float passing over them – indeed they will often take the bait while the tackle is still moving.
When the fish are feeding deep, the float submerges in no un- certain manner, but if they are within 1.2-1.5 m (4-5 ft) of the surface they often run sideways with the bait, causing the float to skate across the surface without actually disappearing. A little experimenting with the timing of the strike soon establishes whether or not to hit the float immediately it moves. Usually, there’s a lot of line to pick up when the angler strikes at such distances, and this makes some delay inevitable. It is tempting to use arod for such fishing, in view of the long casting and the stiffer rod action it gives, but this is unwise unless the rod is long enough to take up a good deal of line on the strike.
Inshore rudd are fairly shy of the angler, and the very fish which feed so confidently thirty yards out can become extremely wary when cruising within a few yards of the bank. For this reason, good weed cover is very valuable to the angler.
In very large lakes, boat fishing is popular, especially in the shallow but extensive waters of the Norfolk Broads, which are noted for their rudd. In this region it is usual to moor the boat by driving the oars into the bottom some distance away from the tall Norfolk reed fringes which so often harbour shoals of feeding fish. The method is then to cast towards the weed, fishing a few feet from the stems. If fish are not quickly located it is wise to move in, tether a floating crust or two within a metre or so of the reeds, and then move back to the original moorings again. Usually this brings fish into the area in sufficient concentration to make the fishing worthwhile. It is, however, vital that movement and fuss in the boat are kept down to a minimum to avoid scaring the fish away.
A further problem in shallow waters is that of. If any amount of solid is used to concentrate fish in a particular area, it is quite certain that the local aquatic birds will spot this before the fish do. These arrive on the scene incredibly quickly and proceed to dive and feast on the ground-bait. Nothing is better calculated to ruin the morning’s fishing and the angler has no alternative but to move elsewhere until the coots and moorhens have disposed of his ground-bait. If ground-bait is used it should be sparingly offered, or be of a cloud-like consistency which has not sufficient bulk to attract the birds.
Rudd are very partial to a fly, wet or dry, although theis probably better. Any light TROUT outfit will suffice, provided it will cast a reasonably long line without fuss, and a tapered line is not essential. If are used the line must float, however. If the is preferred it is often considerably improved by adding a maggot to the hook, or alternatively by using a piece of white cloth or kid leather as an imitation. Almost any small fly on a 8-10 hook is suitable, but anglers with a fancy for tying flies would be wise to include the snippet of white kid on the dressing.
Flies can be presented with aon ordinary bottom tackle by means of , controller, or on the line above the fly. A single shot a couple of feet from the fly will help to make the cast clean, or, better still, a lightly leaded fly will keep well clear of the bubble float during casting. The bubble or float can be loose on the line, with a single just below it to prevent it sliding down the cast. This gives the fish a very free take, since they can pull the line through the float. The angler needs sharp eyes to strike on the movement of the line. Some experience is needed to enable him to recognize bites.
If a controller is required, a small piece of balsa wood can be used, with a hole at one end through which the line is passed. A piece of Norfolk reed, with a little wire loop whipped on one end, or 12-15 cm (5-6 ins) porcupine quill will serve just as well.
Most suitable ponds will contain fish of 1-1.5 kg (2-3 lb), but these, being older and wiser, are very difficult to catch. Probably the best rudd to be found anywhere live in the remoter loughs of southern Ireland.