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A Guide to Catching Rudd with Lures

My name is Hayden Seabrook, a 34-year-old angler residing in the picturesque county of Cambridgeshire. As a dedicated lure angler, I relish the challenge of targeting predatory fish species throughout the year in the tranquil waters of my local rivers—the River Cam, the River Ouse, and the Fenland drains. In this article, I’ll walk you through my guide to catching Rudd with lures.

One of the better Rudd caught fishing using lure tactics


My fishing journey began in childhood, with the Rudd being one of the first species I ever caught using maggots as bait. This early experience ignited a lifelong passion for fishing. About five years ago, I was captivated by a social media post showcasing a Rudd caught on a lure. This intriguing sight sparked a desire within me to someday present a lure to a Rudd myself.

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Initial Success Catching Rudd on Lures

Three years ago, I seized my opportunity. It was a sweltering summer day, and I discovered a stunning shoal of large, golden Rudd basking in my local river. Armed with a tiny 1cm dragonfly larvae lure, an ultra-light fluorocarbon leader, and a small split shot to aid casting, I cast my line with anticipation. 

To my delight, I landed my first three Rudd, each weighing around 2 pounds. This experience set the stage for my ongoing quest to target Rudd with lures whenever conditions allowed.

A lovely brace of 2lb+ Rudd – both caught on lures

Technical Improvements Led to Further Success

The following season, as spring brought clarity back to the waters, I encountered another group of impressive Rudd. This time, I opted for a 1.5-inch bright pink worm imitation, fished weightless. The Rudd responded even more enthusiastically to the slow-sinking lure, and I was rewarded with three sizable catches over two sessions, culminating in a personal best of 2 pounds 12 ounces.

Buoyed by these successes, I became determined to target Rudd more consistently. Springtime, particularly pre-spawn, sees these fish at their most active and aggressive. As the third season approached in 2024, I revisited my favourite spot. I found Bream spawning in the margins and Rudd mingling just beyond, amidst the lily pads. This time, I employed a 2-inch Keitech Crazy Flapper crayfish imitation in a striking Delta Craw colour, trimming half an inch off the top to fit the small hook, and fished it weightless.

An example of one of the cut-down lures used to catch Rudd

How Do I Approach Lure Fishing for Rudd?

My approach was straightforward yet effective: cast the lure as close to the Rudd as possible. Remarkably, 90% of the time, they struck almost immediately upon the lure touching the surface. The few that didn’t react either hadn’t seen the lure or were spooked by any erratic movements I made. Within three thrilling hours, I netted five Rudd with a combined weight of 13 pounds 7 ounces, the largest tipping the scales at 2 pounds 11 ounces—a remarkable haul that remains etched in my memory.

Gear and Techniques for Targeting Rudd with Lures

  • Rod: I use a Majorcraft Lati-go Vivace 3-18g rod. This rod is light enough to make the fight enjoyable while being sturdy enough to handle larger specimens.
  • Mainline: For the mainline, I prefer Majorcraft PE1 braid. The sensitivity of the braid allows me to feel every subtle pluck and bite from smaller fish species, enhancing my overall fishing experience.
  • Leader: A fluorocarbon leader is essential for camouflaging the line and reducing the chances of spooking the Rudd. I use a 6lb leader, which strikes the perfect balance between strength and invisibility.
  • Hook Size: After experimenting with various hooks, I’ve found success with a size 8 drop shot hook. However, it’s important to match the hook size to the lure for a balanced setup. Don’t hesitate to try different sizes to see what works best for your specific conditions.
  • Split Shot: Casting weightless lures at fish further out can be challenging. I always carry split shot with me, which allows for quick adjustments to improve casting distance when needed.
  • Lures: I’ve experimented with various lures and found that smaller ones tend to be more successful. A 1cm dragonfly larvae lure is excellent for getting many bites. However, for larger specimens, I’ve had great results with 2-inch lures like the Keitech Crazy Flapper. If the action is slow, trimming the lure can sometimes make all the difference.
  • Polaroid Sunglasses: These are a must-have for any angler. Polaroid sunglasses allow you to see more of what’s happening below the surface, giving you a significant advantage. I never leave home without mine!

This setup and approach have consistently helped me target and land beautiful Rudd, making each fishing trip a rewarding adventure.


While subsequent fishing trips haven’t been as fruitful, the excitement and satisfaction of those successful catches continue to fuel my passion for catching rud with lures. Each outing holds the promise of another unforgettable encounter with the elusive Rudd.

Hayden’s Sponsors

Street Fishing London
Tackle Wave

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Hayden Seabrook
Hayden Seabrook

Hayden is a proficient lure angler well-known for targeting a multitude of predatory species and also many other native UK fish - even on lures! Hayden is sponsored by Majorcraft, Street Fishing London, Keitech and Tackle Wave.