The rudd is more of a Stillwater fish than the roach, and is not frequently found in flowing rivers. The exception to this is in Ireland where rudd are sometimes found in rivers with a strong current. If anything, the rudd is a more handsome fish than the roach. The protruding lower lip of the rudd enables it to feed easily on the surface.
When they are feeding on the surface during warm weather, locating rudd is easy. The surface will become a mass of ripples as the fish feed on hatching insects. Larger rudd will roll noisily on the surface, frequently giving a glimpse of their golden flanks. If there is no obvious sign of surface activity throw a few pieces of bread crust on to the lake surface and let the wind carry these out. As soon as rudd encounter the bread they will begin tearing it to pieces, giving away their location. In vast gravel pits the rudd are just as likely to be far out in open water as they are to be next to reed beds and long casting is often necessary to reach the shoal.
Baits and tackle for catching rudd
Tackle employed for catching rudd should be similar to that used for roach. For casting long distances to catch surface-feeding rudd use a heavy bodied waggler float and place all the shot next to the float. The tackle will be heavy enough to cast far out into the lake yet the waggler float is sensitive enough to register the bites. By placing all the shot immediately below the float the bail is allowed to sink slowly through the shoal of feeding fish. Fish taking the bait as it is sinking will either cause the float to rise quickly from the surface, or tow it along the surface. When you strike, move the rod right back over your shoulder to ensure you drive the hook home. A long, sweeping strike is essential to take up the slack line when fishing at long range, and also to compensate for any stretch in the nylon.
Maggots and casters will catch plenty of rudd. Bread is a good bait but where hordes of little rudd are present, flake will be whittled away very quickly. Catching big rudd and avoiding the small fish is a very difficult problem. Sometimes the shoal will form with the small rudd just below the surface whilst the larger fish lurk deeper down. To get a bait down to the larger fish, place the bulk of the shot far enough below your float to drag the bait quickly through the hordes of tiddler rudd. Catching large rudd is usually a problem of location because on many waters rudd are so prolific that they become stunted. The best places for big rudd are gravel pits, large lakes and slow moving fenland rivers.
In winter the rudd will feed on the bottom and can be caught using roach tactics. Rudd will still readily move up through the water to intercept the loose feed and groundbait as it slowly sinks. If this happens, shot the float so that you are fishing on the drop and strike at any unusual movement of the float.