Rudyard Lake, full to bursting

Apr 30, 2012
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Middleton, Manchester
Venue: Rudyard Lake
Club: Day Ticket – cost £4 plus launching fee @ £5
Date: 28th April 2012

My first kayak lure angling session on Rudyard Lake this year was challenging to say the least. Arriving early, my confidence was high despite the poor weather conditions. A cold North East wind gusting to 28 m/p/h would make kayak angling difficult, however due to the lakes potential to produce some excellent lure angling sport during April & May I was not deterred.

That was until I saw the lakes water level. It was at its highest level for many a year, unbelievable considering half of England’s counties are supposedly in a drought! High water levels on large reservoirs spell out rock hard fishing in my experience. My original challenge of trying to catch a Pike over 6lb from the lake changed drastically to looking to catch a pike of any size. So low was my confidence with the days prospective sport!

It was great to say hello and have a chat with Ray, Rudyard Lakes Warden. After sharing a brew with him and four other Pike lure anglers who were to fish from the electric engine powered boats on the lake, I paddled out onto the two and a half mile lake in search of a predator.

All my usually productive spots were barren and no baitfish could be picked up on my fish finder. I eventually located a few pockets of baitfish in one of the most productive lure angling areas of the lake. Unfortunately it was in the roughest water, right in the teeth of the strong north east wind. After fishing the area for a good hour I managed to attract two half hearted takes from a Pike following the lure. My light anchor was slipping when the fierce gusts buffeted my kayak, so I conceded to the elements and searched out more sheltered fishing grounds.

A paddle into the shallows revealed where all the baitfish had gone, my fish finder was bleeping frantically as it picked up shoal after shoals. Over the next hour and half I went through every lure in my box and half a dozen tasty looking swims trying to tempt a Pike. Even with so many fish in the area, there were no signs of Pike striking at fish or of any fish life at all!

It was time to reflect on my days angling and make some key decisions regarding what tactics to pursue for the remaining two hours of my session. Should I continue to fish the shallows where there was clearly plenty of baitfish or troll a smaller lure in search of a ‘Jack Pike’ to save a blank. I hate blanking, but I also dislike trolling. It would really spoil my fiancé’s Saturday night if I returned home without catching, so off I went on a paddle with a lure trailing behind!

I always say every cloud has a silver lining and today’s big black cloud didn’t fail to produce one. Over the next two hours I developed my trolling skills, learning how different lures swim at different depths. By using my fish finder to cover features underneath the water, I was able to present specific lures within two to three foot of the bottom where I thought a lethargic Pike may be lurking. In the last hour I was rewarded with a Pike in the shape of a 2lb 5oz Jack.

A post angling brew with Ray, revealed my Pike was the only one caught today on the lake. Maybe I am sadistic, but I get a great deal of pleasure and self achievement knowing that I managed to crack such a tough cookie where other has failed. A real testing day with poor sport every now and again is good for an angler. It makes the angler better and more knowledgeable, but more importantly it makes an angler appreciate the good days and not take them for granted!


1 x Pike @ 2lb 5oz

Fishing Duration, 08:30 to 12:00 and 12:45 to 16:15 = 7 hours

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Jeff Woodhouse

Moaning Marlow Meldrew
Jan 2, 2002
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Subtropical Buckinghamshire
Were I some 30 years younger I'd be looking at this Kayak fishing myself...

Had a few matches on Rudyard back in the 70s. One was when our Match Secretary had just purchased a set of new Rubin Heaton weigh scales, belters they were, but only went to 14lbs or so. One of the members caught a monster pike, all of 7 or 8 inches long, but we sent the message back down, could it be weighed in?
There was no rule so Keith, the MS, sent the message back saying yes.
Next message went down, how high do the scales go?
Message back - 14lbs!
Message down - well this pike is so big it looks like we'll have to cut it in half to weigh it fully.
At that he came racing up the bank, over 300 yards and out of breath, only to find the tiny little thing sitting in a keep net.