Part Four - Specimen rudd

Tue 01 May 12


Alan with a superb rudd

UKMA: What type of venue would you choose and at what time of year and what do you look for when choosing a swim when targeting specimen rudd, giving details of preferred habitat in all venues (rivers lakes etc)

Alan Stagg: Specimen rudd are a species that I love to fish for on the large southern gravel and sand pits. A fish that many people target in the summer months of June and July however, a great time to fish for rudd are the colder winter months too. One of the main problems when fishing for rudd is tench often inhabit the same venues and unless you can see the fish then the two species can be difficult to single out. Even when fishing up in the water I have caught good bags of tench when in search of rudd. Tench are more dominant in comparison to rudd and when they move in numbers can make catching rudd almost impossible when they settle on the feed.

UKMA: What tackle and tactics would you use and why, giving details of rods, reels, rigs and any seasonal variations when targeting specimen rudd.

Alan Stagg: My tactics revolve around two approaches when targeting specimen rudd. The first involves float fishing and trying to get the fish to compete up in the water. When using this approach my main bulk of shot is around the float with a couple of number 8’s or 10’s half way down the hooklength allowing the hookbait to fall slowly through the water column. This can be a great way to fish and it is very rewarding catching fish on the float. However, when the wind gets up or the fish are out of range then a feeder approach can be deadly.

My feeder approach is based around a helicopter rig using a very short 3-inch hooklength. I like to pop the hookbait straight up off the feeder and use a small sliver of high-density foam sandwiched between two white maggots. Using a bait popped up off the bottom can be a very effective method and using a 30g or 50g feeder means the fish often hook themselves. When using this approach my tackle consists of the following:

Korum Precision Multi feeder rods
4010 Shimano Bait runner reels
8lb Gardner Hydro Flo Mainline or 6lb GR60
4lb Gardner Mirage Fluorocarbon hooklengths
Korum medium float stops and mini anti tangle sleeves
Size 20 Swivels
30g or 50g Preston Quick Load feeders.
Size 16 Drennan Carbon Specimen hooks
Gardner zig rig foam

UKMA: What baits would you use and at what times of year would you use these baits when targeting specimen rudd?

Alan Stagg: White maggots are my favourite bait when targeting big rudd. I like white maggots as I think they are a very visible bait. I always remove any sawdust or maize from the maggots and cover them in a generous helping of Sonubaits Super Crush Green ground bait. This is made from finely ground fishmeals and helps to give the maggots a something little extra.

When fishing the feeder I like to recast every 20-30 minutes. Bites will often come quickly after a recast. When starting a session I like to spod a mixture of maggots and hemp, which has proved a good combination.

UKMA: Give an in depth guide to preparation of your baits, the techniques and additives you would use and how you would feed the swim at different times of the year when targeting specimen rudd

Alan Stagg: During the colder months I certainly cut back on the amount of feed I introduce. I find around 10 small Pocket Rockets is enough to kick start the swim and regularly casting the feeders helps keep it topped up. In the warmer summer months I tend to start with around 15 spods and top the swim up according to any action.

UKMA: Do you have any personal tricks or tips that have been past on to you by other anglers or that you have discovered yourself, that would help improve an anglers chances of catching a specimen rudd

Alan Stagg: Accuracy is the key when feeder fishing. I like to walk my rods out down the bank so the rods I fish with and the spod rod are clipped up to the same distance. Power gum markers are then added to the feeder rods to ensure I am hitting the same area. Keeping the feed tight helps to concentrate the fish and bites will come a lot quicker.
Location is often key and being at the water at dawn and dusk will help you locate the shoals of rudd. They can often be seen rolling during these times.

A stunning catch of rudd from Alan


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