Coarse Fishing Fishing Reports

The Specimen Scene in France — Ruddy Marvels

The Specimen Fishing Scene in France - Rudd

Guest Writer Phil Beret

With sub-zero temperatures upon us and whilst freezing my wotsits off waiting for a winter roach, my mind wandered back to a session in much warmer conditions last year when the target was rudd.

I had planned to have a crack at some big rudd I had known about for a while and with a rare full day free and perfect conditions forecast, I knew I had to make the most of it.

The Specimen Fishing Scene in France - Rudd
100 acres for the fish to lose themselves in.

The venue itself was a bit of a challenge, a large lake of over 100 acres, so a lot of water for the fish to lose themselves in. The plan was to fish maggot and waggler, and see if I could find fish or switch to the feeder if I had to fish blind.

I spent the first hour or so just looking around but couldn’t find anything of note, a chop on the water didn’t help matters. Eventually, with the clock ticking, I set up on the windward bank, put out some bait then sat down behind a feeder rod to await events.

However, I just couldn’t settle, I knew I was in the wrong spot. My attention was being drawn to an area on the far bank with calmer water in the lee of the wind. After two hours, I couldn’t resist the urge any more and despite the bait I had put out, and even a couple of missed bites, I upped sticks and moved.

The calmer water I found on the far side coincided with a weedy shallow margin that extended for several hundred meters along the bank and most important of all, it was full of rudd including some big ones – Bingo!

The Specimen Fishing Scene in France - Rudd
First Rudd, 2lb 6oz.

I spent the next few hours in the scorching sun creeping along the bank with polaroid’s armed with just a tub of maggots, float rod and net, stalking them. One group with a biggie among them was in a hole in the weed, literally a foot from the bank. They were very nervous, so crouched low behind a bush. I trickled maggots in for perhaps 20 minutes.

Gradually they gained confidence until I had them all swooping round mopping up every maggot I threw in. Rather than drop the hook bait on their heads, I over cast the spot by a long way with a large bodied waggler then slowly drew the float back over them, the maggots trailing behind.

A couple of the smaller fish immediately made a dash for them. I purposely yanked the maggots away at the last second and into the path of the big one. It was heart in mouth as it turned, saw them and without a second thought gulped them down. A short fight and I bundled it into the net. At 2lb 6oz, I was a happy chappie.

The Specimen Fishing Scene in France - Rudd
Weedy margins and nervous rudd!

I repeated the exercise for another cracker at 2lb 1oz and also lost a third fish that was well over 2lb to a hook pull.

The Specimen Fishing Scene in France - Rudd
Second fish, 2lb 1oz.
The Specimen Fishing Scene in France - Rudd
Super simple setup, the large float just to add weight to overcast. I was visually striking the takes.

As the afternoon drew on, the larger fish drifted out and despite walking literally miles up and down that margin, all I could find were smaller fish.

With the temperature sweltering, I decided to sit back in some shade and fish in the deeper water.

I took out a heavier Cadence CR10 Rod and put out a few pouches of pellet, corn, and hemp and fished a feeder with corn over the top. Perhaps an hour or two passed with nothing of note, then I had a very slight bite, I took a chance and struck, and the rod hooped over. As it came closer, I saw in the clear water it was another good rudd. Twice it managed to avoid being netted in the thick weed before finally succumbing.

It wasn’t until I laid it on the bank and peeled the net back that I realised just how big it was, a proper whopper! The scales confirmed what I already knew as they swung past 3 and settled at 3lb 5oz and, as I am sure you will agree, an absolute stunner as well. Despite being sunburnt, stung and exhausted, the long drive home was not a problem at all!

The Specimen Fishing Scene in France - Rudd
Target fish and the one I wanted, 3lb 5oz stunner.

Cadence Fishing