Coarse Fishing


Our brief, plain speaking guide to rudd. Remember it's red for golden rudd, orange for silver roach.

Rudd is another of coarse fishing’s doppelgangers, being grouped with roach, ide, and dace as confusing poor anglers with similar(ish) looks. The quickest way to differentiate rudd from roach (its closest visual match) is by its red fins and yellow eye (the rudd has a distinctive red spot in the eye). Otherwise, it has a deepish body, small head, and a recognisable feature in that its pelvic and anal fins are very close to each other. Adult rudd range greeny brown on the back and bronze/yellow on the sides, to a delightful bright gold colour. Its fins are orangey-red, becoming more vivid red the further back they are.
Finding them
Rudd live in bigger lowland rivers and lakes, preferring clear waters with strong weed and vegetation growths, sometimes feeding on both. They are akin to roach in geographic distribution, but less tolerant to polluted or chemically-tinged water. In warmer waters and weather, or in fading light, they will gather in shoals and feed on surface insects, its upturned mouth perfect for the job.
Food and bait
When shoaling for surface insects, you might hear them – they make a loud sucking noise when they hoover up insects that can become quite distinctive to a coarse fishing enthusiast’s ears. Rudd will also go to the waterbed for food, including small crustaceans and snails. Larger adults will have a go at small fry, with the young restricting themselves to plankton. Typical roach baits will work well on young rudd, while adults seem partial to nibble-sized bits of bread and worm pieces. They can open their mouths quite wide, so don’t be shy about the size of chunks. Float, ledger, and free lining produce the best results, and because they are used to patiently waiting for vegetation to gently drop into their waiting mouths, scattering bread flake can work a treat to tempt a shoal your way.
Rudd spawn April to June, in weeded shallows.
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