GO IN SEARCH OF SUMMER GOLD
Simple waggler tactics are order of the day
HE start of the season is the perfect time to target a summer favourite which is making a welcome return to Britain’s waterways.
Golden-flanked rudd are right up there among the most beautiful of all the freshwater fish we target, and one angler who particularly enjoys the challenge they set is young Drennan all-rounder Ryan Hayden.
Over the past few seasons Ryan has spent the summer months exploring potential venues in a quest for big rudd, with several specimens to his name.
“This is the time of year that I look forward to most,” says Ryan, “And I usually spend the first day of the season roaming among the nettles and vegetation searching for big rudd.”
East Anglia is blessed with a huge number of fishing waters, and many of the specimen rudd present have seen little or no angling pressure. Rudd are also quite aggressive feeders and tend to be reasonably easy to catch once located. And therein lies the biggest challenge!
“Finding the shoals of bigger fish usually means a lot of walking, so a good pair of boots is a must.” says Ryan.
“But they’re not that difficult to find, especially in the shallower sections where the water will be warmed by the summer sun. What’s more, the biggest fish of the shoal is normally the first in
line for a good feed!” he adds. two Grippa Stops either side, and a size 12 Wide Gape hook to 5lb nylon attached loopto-loop style. The hook size may seem quite big, but as he favours quite large, visible baits such as bread crust or sweetcorn, the size of hook and its wide gape help ensure a good hookhold every time.
“It can be quite windy in East Anglia and the extra weight of the pellet waggler ensures you can hit the target accurately every time,” he says.
When he is fishing with crust (which floats), Ryan sets the waggler around 2ft away from the hook, but when using sweetcorn he will go deeper and allow the hookbait to fall for as long as possible before touching the weed-covered bottom.
If there are not too many birds about, he will walk along the top of the bank firing single pieces of bread flake into the middle of the river or drain every 25 metres or so. This enables him to cover more ground and quickly find a shoal of feeding rudd.
“Once a shoal of bigger rudd are located I will then cast my single hookbait directly into the area,” says Ryan.