Tuesday night after work I joined Keith for a short evening session on Jeff's Rudd pond. This was to be a blast from my past for me in two ways. Firstly because these ponds are situated in an area where I did a lot of my formative fishing and secondly because it's been many a year since I last fished for little Rudd using whip/maggot tactics.
To be honest I wasn't sure of which of the three ponds I was heading to or where they were as I walked across the field. So as I speak the local lingo I stopped to ask directions from a couple of young tearaways who where smashing up some fencing, who obviously taken back by my aggressive tone merely pointed over the field.
Finally I located Keith on a small featureless drainage pond. In time it took me to approach I saw him catch at least seven Rudd and when near his grin signaled it had been going pretty well. By the time I had put my new three piece cane pole together Keith was convinced he had the Rudd point in the bag. The time being around seven pm I thought that by half nine I could have my Rudd point in the bag too.
My cane pole performed well on all accounts bar one. The pond was very shallow and the better sized Rudd seemed to come from about four feet further than I could cast. So after only a pound of tiny Rudd I switched over to the only other rod I took a five foot American style rod with fixed spool reel.
Keith had by now weighed in an impressive 9.8lbs of Rudd and had joined me for a chat whilst I tried to ground out the point. At this point I must thank Keith for his advantageous help as a bait slinger whilst I snatched Rudd after tiny Rudd at three to the ounce.
I knew I had to keep at it till the light went and in the end I could no longer see the tiny float and instead began relying on The Force, as Keith called it, and striking when I suspected the bait to be in a fishes mouth, which strangely worked.
Pulling the net from the water I looked in and straight away and thought, I ain't done this. A few moments of two men crouching over a flapping mass of tiny golden fish tossing out any unwanted perch and I was ready for my result.... 4lb 12oz. Woo hoo! Two whole ounces over the 4lb 10oz Rudd record for my second point. Though we weren't sure of the exact weight and had to call Pete for confirmation (thanks Pete)
Though this is the second time I have felt the unnerving feeling of being so close to a challenge point, I still enjoyed it and would recommend that 'Every so often put away your specimen rods, forget about giant fish, big lakes or rivers and go back to your childhood roots to try and recapture a moment or two from your youth'.
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