Catching Ide

Redbridge Lakes Catching Ide Fishing

Catching Ide at Redbridge Lakes, Essex, 

Back in the days if someone said lets try catching Ide, I would have said, “I’m not going all the way to Denmark to catch an Ide”.

30 years on and Ide are being stocked in commercial fisheries across the UK, and must say they are a great fish to catch.

Redbridge Lakes Fishing

Around a decade ago a guy named Gordon Bullock created a new and exciting silver fish fishery just down the road from me. Redbridge Lakes in Woodford in Essex has now become a number one fishery for those who want to avoid commercial carp venues.

I have recently seen that these fish appear regularly in match weights, but they have grown to around 2lb to 2lb 8oz. The current UK record is 8lb 5oz which is listed under the Ides other name, the Orfe.

There are two identical lakes, Daisy and Cuthbert. Both are well stocked with Bream, Skimmers, Perch, Roach, Rudd, Tench, Crucians, ornamental brown Goldfish and Ide. When the lakes first opened, I had the privilege of fishing the lakes quite a few times and remember catching lots of Ide around the 6oz mark. I had only ever caught Ide on my trips to Denmark and was pleasantly surprised.


Do Your Homework

Even though I have caught Ide from there before, I quite fancied catching a few bigger specimens. So I decided on a four hour session one Thursday in September.

Because I haven’t been there for a while, homework on the venue and species is paramount. So the best person to ask for some advice was match star and friend Keith Austin. Keith has been winning matches at the venue for quite a while now. In fact Keith wins matches everywhere. He knew the methods that would put some nice Ide in my net. I visited the lake on a match day knowing Keith would be there and sat behind him and observed and questioned him like a barrister. It had been seen him in a while but he was still the nicest guy on the planet.

I decided to fish Cuthbert lake on peg 11. Each peg has a a spit of land covered in reeds to either your left or right and a bed of lily pads between each pair of swims.

Most of the Ide are caught from 12 to 16 meters out. You can fish a feeder, pole or waggler but the best presentation is the pole.

Redbridge Lakes

I decided to start fishing at 12.5 meters as there was no other anglers around me. If it had been a match I would have fished around 14m due to the pressure of the other anglers.

The depth is around the four to five feet and opted for a 0.5g float with a bulk of shot 12 inches from the hook. 0.14 mainline to a 0.12 hook length with a size 14 Image IM7 Barbless hook.

Bait Choice

Bait choice is pretty simple. Worms for chopping, small redworms for the hook, sweetcorn, casters and a fine sloppy dark groundbait mix. Most of the companies have a dark variety in their range so its personal choice but I would be using SSP Baits System-X Black. You need to be confident so buy something you feel will work for you.

I started by feeding four golf ball size balls of groundbait.. Included in these were around ten chopped worms, fifteen grains of corn and fifty casters.

Tench Redbridge LakesTo make it clear, all the loose feed was roughly distributed between the four ball. I wanted to fish very accurately and tightly so I fed via a pole cup.

There are a whole host of different cups in all sorts of sizes available, but I would recommend something that is robust with a good attachment.



I left the bait to settle for ten minutes before fishing a small redworm about two inches over depth. On a match day I probably would have used the first ten minutes to fish a small groundbait feeder over the far side towards the reed beds. As it was a pleasure day I could pour myself a coffee and let the swim settle.

Almost straight away I had a roach. This was followed but a few more roach and a small four ounce skimmer.

The initial cloud of feed had now settled and the small fish started to move away. You can tell when the bigger fish move in because the swim goes quite.

Bream and skimmers

The peg went quite for five minutes before the float slid away. A perfect little one pound skimmer slid under the net and regurgitated a grain of corn. That was a good sign that they were hungry. I’ve had fish regurgitate bait before and its a sign of how you need to feed.

Bream Redbridge Lakes

I had fish on and off for an hour but not one Ide. Some more sloppy groundbait with casters and corn was cupped straight over the top of my pole float. I also decided to scale down to half a redworm. Bang! That did the trick. My number No6 Future yellow pole elastic shot out and the first Ide of the day was on. For five seconds. The hook pulled out and it was back to square one.

Next put in and another Ide was screaming around, pulling my elastic out. This time after a brief fight I managed to land it. A beautiful fish of around two pounds. If you’ve not seen an Ide before then here is my description. They look like a cross between a roach and a chub. They are long like a chub with a large chub like mouth. But they have the beauty of a roach with the reddish fins and scales.

Building the swim

Ide Redbridge Lakes

I was now getting a feel for how the fish were feeding and what needed to be done. Another small ball of slop and caster & chopped worm. I had to wait but knew when a fish turned up and would find my bait. Two minutes later and Bream of around 2lb. Some people would call that a skimmer. But on this lake a fish like this should be called a bream.

After putting another helping of food out the float slipped away again. This time another Ide powered its way around the swim. They fight like demons and are great value for money and thats the reason I love catching Ide.

I continued to feed in that manor for the rest of the day. I did try corn and caster but felt sticking with the worm would get me a few more Ide. Which it did.

Feeding correctly is an art

It is an art trying to tune into the way fish are feeding. It is probably the hardest thing in fishing to get your head around as a beginner or intermediate. Even professionals like me often get stumped as the fish throw a ball from left field. Four time world champion Bob Nudd gave me one great bit of advice when I was eighteen. He said “just remember you can always put more bait in but you can’t take it out”. This bit of advice may seem like common sense but how many of us think like that. Build your swim slowly and get a feel for what’s going on down there.

Redbridge Lakes Fishing Ide Bream

I ended the session with four nice ide, seven decent skimmers and bream as well as a Tench, couple of crucians and some roach. Around 25lb and a very enjoyable and productive trip.





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