A prominent coarse ﬁsh, the rudd is widely sought by European anglers but is barely known to most North Americans. It is a member of the large Cyprinidae family, which includes minnows and carp, and is of similar size and color to its relative the roach.
IdentificationThe rudd is somewhat cylindrical, yet deep bodied. It has a moderately forked tail and an upturned mouth. The scales are strongly marked, the back is dark brown, and the sides are golden brown, tapering to a white belly. The pectoral, pelvic, and anal ﬁns are reddish orange, and the dorsal and tail ﬁns are dusky. The rudd has 8 to 9 dorsal rays, 10 to 11 anal rays, and eyes that are red or have a red spot.
The rudd may be confused with the roach; however, the pectoral ﬁns of the roach lack the reddish-orange color, and the body is more silvery. It is similar in appearance to the golden shiner (see: Shiner, Golden) but is distinguished from that species by its scaled ventral keel. Size. The maximum size for rudd is in the 4- to 5-pound range, although ﬁsh of that nature are rare. A 2-pound rudd is typically a large one.