Although I was really enjoying my bream campaign (and actually stated in last week’s article that I had no intention of quitting just yet) I decided to call it a day. Nothing sinister or negative at all in my decision, but some really warm weather plus the fact that the days are now very long meant that I was spending a lot of time at the water’s edge for just a small window of opportunity.
Hence the decision to switch to something else and try out a venue that contains rudd. The pool in question is one run by a club that I have recently become a member of, with the handbook stating ‘rudd’ as one of the resident species. So never having been to the pool before, and not knowing what to expect, I set off for an afternoon/evening session on the waggler.
Most of my fishing is legering and so when I do embrace the float I really enjoy it. Having a walk around the pool I decided to set up in a swim that looked like it would offer the chance of a rudd or two, as it was near a dense reed bed. The water wasn’t deep, just a metre and a half a couple of rod lengths from the bank. Opting to fish with corn (hopefully to eliminate any smaller fish that maggots would attract) I mixed up a nice sloppy brown crumb mix containing a kilo of corn.
I got off to a good start with a rudd of about 3oz on the first cast. The fish pretty much kept coming for the rest of the session. It was a beautiful hot day, and as the pool is along a track that leads nowhere else, it was incredibly quiet. ‘Heaven on earth’ would come to mind if you were sitting there taking in the pleasant surroundings, with the only noises to be heard being the sedge warblers in the reed beds and the skylarks high in the air in the meadow behind.
But all good things come to an end, as they say, and along comes a man with two dogs. The man then proceeded to throw sticks in the water, and the dogs go wild as they thrash around in the pool. Now bear in mind that we are talking about a small venue – half a dozen anglers would be about the limit on there. Not seeking confrontation, but simply amazed at such selfishness and inconsiderate behaviour, I told him where to go. In the nicest possible way of course! He seemed genuinely surprised that he had disturbed my fishing (must be daft!) and said that he wouldn’t do it again if he saw me on there.
Ah, back to ‘peace perfect peace’ I told myself. Which was true until the Steve McQueen impersonator acting out ‘The Great Escape’ appeared in the field alongside the pool. Not wishing harm to anyone, I did question whether it would be theologically correct for a Minister to hope that maybe he would fall off the bike, just to give me some peace! You’ve never heard such racket in your life – the exhaust must have had a dozen holes in it. Then when he went, out comes the nutter with the gun, who spends the next three hours with a shotgun ‘bang, bang, bang’ continually. I think the centre of London on a Friday afternoon must be quieter than where I was!
Anyway, I put it all to the one side and carried on fishing. The best rudd was under the pound mark so nothing special, but aren’t they beautiful looking fish? In the glamour stakes they may not be high up the table but as far as looks are concerned they are definitely Premiership. I continued to catch fish right through the session, and occasionally I would get broke by a carp. With a mainline of just 2lb 8oz, I had no chance once a carp realised it had been hooked and immediately shot off towards the sanctuary of the reed bed.
I decided to return to the pool the very next day, again to test the rudd potential, but also to see if I could catch a carp or two. I had noticed plenty of fish cruising just below the surface and so intended to take advantage of the continuing warm weather and do some floater fishing. I ended up with several carp, both common and mirror. Nothing special, but great to catch on the surface. Watching carp as they take your bait and then the sudden and violent swirl as they realise they are caught is far more exciting that a buzzer suddenly coming to life.
The rudd were also feeding well and I ended up with over 100 fish, actually losing count. I’m not used to catching more than a handful of fish per session, and so my brain couldn’t cope with the quantity! Although the odd one was pushing the half-pound mark, the vast majority were below four ounces. Having fished there for a couple of sessions I came to the quick conclusion that it’s not what you would call a specimen water.
And any thoughts I had about returning to give it another go were quickly dismissed when the weather changed yet again and we had some torrential rain. With the track to the pool being difficult at the best of times, any reasonable amount of rainfall meant that it would be impossible to navigate. So my excursion into the world of the rudd proved to be a very short one indeed. But no worries as I feel the call of the eel coming on.
(Originally published May 2006)