Rudd reward persistance in the calm after the storm.

November 7, 2023 at 5:05 pm

Fishing has been low on my priority list lately, not helped by yet another named storm Cairan, that has caused chaos and flooding across the UK. My local pond at Allsmoor did not escape the carnage, with trees down and a three foot rise over the paths, when the brook that feeds it burst its banks. Being a balance pond, one of several along the length of the brook, it did its job of protecting the housing developments from flash floods. Following two relatively dry days, I decided that now that the pond was at normal level, I would give it a try, despite an overnight frost.

My previous visit to the pond two months ago in September, had netted me a double figure bag of crucian, mirror and common carp, plus several large rudd, all taken on the bread punch.

I set up in the same swim as September, but did not expect too much, as there was no surface activity, also another angler was on the verge of packing up, having failed to get a bite on bread flake, or red worm.

Confident that the finer bread punch approach on the pole would soon get me bites, I mixed up half a tray of spicy groundbait with ground carp pellets and ground hemp, putting four egg sized balls into a one metre square, eight metres out. I then set up my pole with a 4 x 14 antenna float to a size 16 barbless hook. I usually begin here with a size 14 barbless, but due to the cold conditions, opted for the 16, as I felt that bites would be at a premium. If there was a sign of carp in the swim later, it would not take long to scale up. Adjusting the float for depth, I set the bait to to sit resting on the silty bottom.

All I needed now was a bite, but it required another small ball of feed close to the float to encourage movement, this being a slight dip, followed by a very slow sink, which I missed. I went down to a 5 mm punch and dropped the float back over the spot. Another hesitant dip and the float returned to the surface. Was the bread gone? I raised the pole to take up the slack line to the float and the float disappeared. An old trick that goes on producing, saw a rudd breaking the surface in a shower of silver spray. No wonder the bites were so fussy, this rudd felt like a block of ice.

Not a big rudd, but a good start. The feed had woken up a few reluctant fish, but the next bite was the merest of trembles. Again I took advantage of the still conditions and induced the take. The float sank away and the elastic came out as a better rudd arced away to the middle, bouncing the pole tip as I drew the pole back to the top two sections, for the net.

My fourth bite saw the elastic out again, as another decent rudd fought for freedom.

I continued regular feeding into the area in the hope of crucians, or common carp, but the tell tale bubbles of feeding fish never materialised, although the rudd obliged in numbers.

A shoal of gudgeon swam in over the feed, giving positive bites, almost hooking themselves, then they were gone again and I was back to the rudd.

With my back to the tree lined railway embankment, the sun was soon hidden from view and I was appreciating my thermals, coupled with a thick wooly shirt. Clouds had taken over from the clear sky and the temperature had dropped noticeably, my hands were freezing, having handled so many fish in the last three hours, so at 2 pm, this was my last rudd.

These punch holes represent a lot of fish, mostly small stuff, which kept me busy on a cold afternoon.

There were no heart stoppers in this 5 lb net of fat pristine rudd, but they helped keep out the cold.

As I loaded my trolley for the walk back, it began to rain and made it to the railway arch over the lane just as the deluge camedown. A lady dog walker was sheltering. “Did you catch anything?” “Loads!”