The title of this week’s Angling Journal just about sums me up at the moment. Ever since I ended my bream campaign a month ago, I just haven’t been able to settle in my fishing. I am the sort of person in life that likes to be organised with everything planned and laid out properly, and my fishing reflects that approach. I like to be able to have a ‘run’ at a species, rather than ‘chopping and changing’ every week, and I find that the focus means I am able to fish more effectively.
So after having a go for rudd, then back to eels (which didn’t work), I was left in a quandary as to what to actually fish for this week. I must have tossed every option around in my mind and every time I thought I had reached a verdict, the jury went out again. I guess if I am really honest, I now just want the 16th to come. The only decision then will be which river to fish!
As it was I decided to go back to rudd! With a warm and dry spell, the track to the pool I had previously fished was accessible without any problems, so off I set for an afternoon in pursuit of what must be one of the most beautiful looking fish in our waters in this country. They are not as widely spread as other species, but there is no denying the stunning qualities that the rudd possesses.
On my previous visit to the pool I had fished a certain peg close to the reed bed that dominates the one end of the venue. On this trip however, by fishing the opposite bank I could more or less fish right up to the reed bed itself. As I arrived the reeds were alive with the sound of sedge warblers, and when a cuckoo landed in the large tree right next to the vegetation, there were no guesses as to where eggs will be laid this summer.
I opted for a light waggler float, fishing between one and two rod lengths out in four feet of water. I put the bulk of the shot around the float itself, so that the single grain of sweetcorn would sink naturally in the water every time I cast out. Once a hungry shoal of rudd move in, very rarely will the bait have time to settle on the bottom, but will be snatched as it falls through the water.
And that was certainly the case on this visit. If I say I had a bite every cast, that is not an exaggeration. In fact I ended up with 170 rudd (yes, I know it’s a sad thing that I counted!) and 1 crucian carp. Most of the rudd were between six and eight ounces, with the odd one pushing closer to the pound mark. The carp was 1-8-0, and the first one that I have caught from the pool on three visits, although the couple of anglers who I have spoken to so far that know the water tell me that there are some ‘good’ crucian in there.
It was a sweltering day, but fortunately oak trees flank the peg I fished. With them now being in full foliage it meant that I was nicely seated in the shade. With temperatures predicted to reach the middle to high 20’s, I didn’t fancy roasting away like a chicken on a spit. The fish revelled in the weather though, not only were rudd to be seen near the surface but carp were everywhere, just a couple of inches or so beneath the water. With no other anglers on there it was a floater fisherman’s dream come true. However on this occasion I was there to target rudd.
I was quite pleased with the higher weight of fish compared to my previous visit, when I had written the water off as full of stunted fish of no more than two or three ounces. I am very happy to say that I enjoyed being proved wrong. So much so that, with just another week to go before the river season starts, I will be back on the pool to see if I can improve on the quality of fish even more. As long as I don’t go all indecisive again though!
(Originally published June 2006)