If there’s one fish species that sums up summer fishing then a big, golden rudd must be it! These stunning fish, with their surface feeding habits, are the epitome of warm-weather angling.
Rudd are famous for taking baits in the upper layers of the water, and they’re adept at picking off small insects which fall into the water from surrounding vegetation.
This makes fishing for them with baits such as casters and slow-falling maggots a great tactic, especially on the float.
However, rudd will take a
big bait too and one of the best is breadflake – a bright bait they can’t fail to miss – and one which is soft and easily sucked in by these rather greedy fish.
Watching big rudd taking floating breadcrust or flake on a sunny day is one of the great sights of summer.
Floating crust or flake is a great starting bait, as it matches your loosefeed, but the fish can become cagey later in the session after you’ve caught a few.
This is when it can pay to use breadflake. Be sure to give the flake a bit of a squeeze so it falls slowly through the upper layers of the water.
2) How far out?
You usually need to fish only a couple of rodlengths out for rudd if you’ve got them feeding properly, but make sure you’ve got enough weight in the float to follow the fish if they spook and move further out.
3) Mainline and hooks
Most anglers will fish ‘straight through’ when rudd fishing to aid presentation of the hookbait, as a knot can easily be seen by the fish in clear water.
Depending on the size of fish, pick a floatfishing line of around 3lb-4lb.
Eyed hooks are usually favoured by specimen rudd anglers, as the extra bit of metal helps when moulding a piece of bread around the hook. Size depends on the size of fish and hookbait but most anglers use between a 10 and 14 for specimen fish.
4) Length of the rig
A 3ft distance between float and bait is a good starting point to help prevent rudd being spooked by the waggler, but be prepared to extend this if the fish do show signs of spooking.
It’s not unheard of to end up using several feet of line in very clear water.
5) Loaded floats
Stealth is the key when fishing for rudd up in the water so a small pellet waggler (normally used for catching carp shallow) or a loaded, clear plastic waggler is perfect for the job. You’re looking for a float that doesn’t dive too deep on the cast, as this will spook the fish.
It’s important to use a loaded float so you don’t need to place shot down the line, as this will constantly drag the hookbait down or back towards the float. Instead of having shot around the base of the float, fix the waggler in place with three float stops – one above the float and two below. This allows you to easily alter the distance between float and hookbait.