It's been nearly a week since arriving back from the picturesque backdrop that is the Fens, for all the species that live in the multitude of waterways in that region it is the Rudd that I have my eyes firmly locked onto, my previous sessions this season I felt were a success, but the real task was slowly becoming more apparent.
Locating the Rudd isn't the problem as I thought at first might be the case, the sheer size of the shoals are fairly impressive, getting through to the bigger fish has proven to be more of a challenge, even Rudd of 1.08 to 1.15 seem to plentiful and after a dozen or so around that weight you start to wonder whether the "bigger" fish are present, the answer is almost always yes but getting them to commit before the smaller fish is the conundrum that has to be solved to ultimately achieve the target, mine?, that would be a fish of 2.12 or larger. A specimen fish for sure but I would dearly love a 3lb plus Rudd, rare I know but where else is it possible but for a handful of waters?.
On my last trip up to the Fens I managed Rudd to 2.04 and I wanted to better that again for the third successive trip, the more I fish it the more I'm learning, this trip was a little different though, we planned to use the boat and also walk the banks. I say we as I was joined by Russell Fitzpatrick (Predator nut) and later on in the day we were joined by the Rudd man himself Matt Rand. If there is anything to learn on these waters then Matt knows it. I am getting ahead a little too here, myself and Russell planned the day by setting off very early from London, I was at he's place by 5am as I was very eager to get up there, we started fishing at around 7am with the idea off fishing all the way through to dusk. During the daytime we both managed multiple Rudd to high 1's and I trotted out a corking 2.04 Rudd at around 2ft depth on flake, the fight was very good and what I have come to expect from these wild and wily creatures.
|2.4, I'm pretty happy with that one!|
|Nearly the length of my forearm and hand.|
|New PB of 2.5 for the Piking Pirate.|
The evening concluded with not much more by the way of action, so we retired for kebab's and burgers before calling it a night. Could the next day bring more action?.
The second morning we decided to have a lye in as we felt the sport was pretty slow until the mid-afternoon the day before, we felt this was a good call as we were scratching around for only a few smaller fish until around 2-3pm, then by that sort of time a few more fish would start showing on the surface which is exactly what we wanted to see, to keep them up we had to keep feeding the hoards of porpoising Rudd, we however unfortunately attracted the unwanted attention of a juvenile Swan which was as thick as cow s***, every time we would cast out it was heading straight for our baits, everything we did to try and shake it off didn't work, we even moved downstream in the boat just for it to follow us.
It wasn't all doom and gloom although I wholeheartedly felt we would have done very well on the second evening as we found a very good head of large Rudd, the lack of feeding that we had to adhere to so we would avoid being wiped out on every cast by the Swan meant fish would only sporadically rise and these were the fish we were aiming for, Russell wasn't too bothered as he had caught what he really wanted so it was myself that remained focused and I got my chance which came in spectacular fashion, my crust drifted it's way downstream at less than walking pace and as it got around 20 yards or so down the run 10ft off the far bank it was intercepted by a big Rudd, a bow wave appeared from the middle of the river and headed straight for my crust, just like a missile locked onto it's target the fish made up the 15ft in no time to the bait and smashed it with some considerable force, I needed no invitation to strike and within a minute or so it was over, Russell and I had both witnessed the lead-up to the take and it was amazing to see such tenacity unfolding in front of us, truly brilliant, more of that please!!
|Epic creature, 2lb 6oz and a new Fenland PB.|
|Another stunning river Rudd.|
|Russell with his PB and myself with another beauty.|