If there was a weekly award for dedication, Gareth Goldson would surely win it hands down after making two five-hour round trips before work to catch a trio of massive rudd from the Fens.
In the first of his three-hour sessions, the 28-year-old took a superb specimen weighing 3lb 8dr, before returning a couple of days later to net a brace weighing 2lb and 2lb 11oz.
All three fish fell to small homemade boilies, which Gareth, from Cromer in Norfolk, designed to be critically-balanced so they would sink slowly, before sitting on the light silkweed at the bottom of the venue.
“I set off from home at 2am, arriving just after dawn, walking for several miles to my chosen swim, and fishing for three hours before making the journey back for work. It’s hard going, but the rewards are clearly there,” said Gareth, who caught the biggest of his haul on floatfishing tactics, and the brace on a scaled-down bolt-rig set-up.
“I’ve made countless fruitless trips to the Fens after the rudd in the past, but have managed to stay positive and keep going. These fish can be very elusive, and you can cover a lot of miles looking for them in among the shoals of much smaller 6oz-1lb rudd,” he added.
Gareth alternated between a float set-up incorporating 2.5lb Maxima mainline straight through to a size 12 hook, and small bolt rigs made from 1oz inline leads and 6lb braided hooklinks.
Another angler getting among the huge rudd last week was Jake Pearce, who smashed his pb when he caught a 3lb 9oz giant from a Norfolk gravel pit.
The 38-year-old, from Attleborough in the same county, began his session targeting carp, but soon switched codes after spotting a big shoal of rudd ‘flashing’ at his Chum Mixer hookbaits. After quickly rigging up a light Avon rod and reel with 4lb line, Jake sprayed the water with corn and soon had his new target species in a feeding frenzy.
“I was taking a decent rudd every chuck, fishing on the drop with a crystal wager about two rodlengths out. Then I hooked into something much bigger and knew straight away I had caught the rudd of a lifetime. It was immense. The lake I was fishing is neglected by most anglers, but it just goes to show what could be lurking in such venues,” said Jake.