Every year I try and have a trip to fenland to fish for its spectacular rudd in the company of my good, and long-time friend Matt Rand. This year, for a multitude of personal reasons neither of us could commit to a date in summer that we could both make but Matt assured me given a little luck with the weather, then we could catch good numbers of rudd in winter, so we planned a trip for the last weekend of the river season.
As the weekend approached conditions looked pretty good and I made the 380 mile round trip to fenland from my Cheshire home full of confidence that we would find a few fish. The fenland waterway we targeted has a good head of fish so it was important to ensure we fed off all the bream roach and smaller rudd to clear the path for the shoals of specimen rudd we hoped would move upriver into our swim.
We fished for 2 evenings starting both days at 4pm by regularly feeding balls of mashed bread and wading through the 'nuisance' fish. Both evenings we had to wait until about 8pm for our first 2lb fish, which would be the signal for some amazing Rudd fishing into the hours of darkness. We wanted to maximise the opportunity and thus we didn’t want to split the shoal and create two feeding areas so we chose to fish just one swim as a team, so when one of us took his rod into the swim the other angler continued baiting to keep the fish moving in on the bait, every time one of us had a '2' we swapped places. This worked out really well, as well as being bloody good fun it ensured we had a regular supply of feed in the swim and equally shared the fish we were working hard to hold and catch. If one of us had what looked like a scraper ‘2’ we were hoping for a 1.15 so we didn’t have to give up the rod.
At one stage Matt landed a fish and peered into the net with his headtorch. “It’s a bream” he announced. “It’s still a two” was my reply and pushed him off the chair. The fish were hungry and we had to keep the feed going in to keep the bites coming, we actually fed 20 loaves per night and both times we had to pack in only because the bait ran out!
I managed to up my PB by another ounce with my biggest 3 fish all going 2.08 and over the two evening sessions we had 35 rudd over 2lb up to 2.09, with the majority averaging between 2.06 and 2.08, add to that the fact that we also took around 50 rudd between 1.12 and 1.15 that’s some pretty epic rudd fishing!
I used a Korum 11ft Feeder rod and reel loaded with 6lb feeder line, 5.12lb Preston Innovations Reflo Power hooklink to a size 12 hook. Bait was a simple pinch of breadflake on a 2ft hooklink and a 20g cage feeder filled with mashed bread.