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'The golden rudd'
Popular among anglers because it takes bait so readily, the red finned rudd is often regarded as Britains most colourful freshwater fish.|
Scientific Name: Scardinius erythrophthalmus
Maximum Weight: 5lb
Average Weight: 8oz
Maximum Length: 16-18inches
Life Span: 10-12 years
Easy to confuse with its close relative the roach, the rudd can be recognised by its red fins, deep bronze-gold flanks and a distinctive steeply
angled, protruding lower lip. Another identifying feature in the rudd is that the beginning of its dorsal fin is set well behind the front of the
pelvic fins - in roach the dorsal fin is directly above the base of the pelvic fins. The rudd also has a sharp ridge, or keel, between the pelvic and anal fins.
Rudd and roach hybridize freely and there is great confusion about its identity when a hybrid is caught. One way of checking a
hybrid is to
look at the lips - the roach/rudd hybrid often has equal lips neither protruding nor receding.
Where to find Rudd:
Rudd seem to prefer still waters such as lakes in particular, but they can also be found in rivers.
Because of the shape of the mouth - with the protruding lower lip - rudd feed more on the surface than roach. In warm weather they
lie in shoals just under the surface, feeding on insects of all kinds. Sometimes the loud sucking noise they make with their mouths can be
used to locate the shoals.
Rudd also take a variety of crustaceans and snails from the bottom,
and a limited amount of plant matter - foraging about among weeds and reeds in the margins and middle depths of the water.
Large specimens occaisionally take fish fry, while the young like most members of carp family - feed on animal plankton.
All the usual roach baits can be used for rudd, but for bigger fish large worms or pieces of bread make the best bait.
Walnut sized pieces of bread flake are by no means too big for large rudd to take, for these fish are able to open their mouths far wider than roach of
similar size. Maggots are a decent bait and will always get bites, but being small, and in most other cases, they attract the attention of smaller fish
which are more active and less discerning than the bigger rudd.
Being surface feeders rudd do not resond well to groundbait. There is only one suitable groundbaiting technique and this is to throw in some floating bread crusts
to try and attract over the shoal.
Authors preferred baits:
Maggot, worm, sweetcorn or breadflake.
How to catch Rudd - Techniques at a glance:
Float, Ledger, freelining.