Gudgeon (Gobio gobio)
| Fact File: British Record 5oz (0.141kg)|
Captor: D. H. Hull
Location: River Nadder, Wiltshire
The Gudgeon can be found in stillwaters, canals and rivers feeding on bottom dwelling organisms such as midge, caddis-fly and may-fly larvae. On either side of it's mouth there is a short, single barbule, it's throat is scaleless. It's back is brown, greyish brown or green with silvery or yellow sides adorned with a row of six to twelve large, dark spots. The Gudgeon prefers a clean, gravel bed and is nearly always found in large shoals. A sturdy fish, the Gudgeon has a relatively short lifespan of around five years and can reach a length of 20cms although 10 - 12cms is the norm.
Izaak Walton in 1653 wrote of the Gudgeon:
"The GUDGEON is reputed a fish of excellent taste, and to be very wholesome: he is of a fine shape, of a silver colour, and beautified with black spots both on his body and tail. He breeds two or three times in the year, and always in summer. He is commended for a fish of excellent nourishment: the Germans call him Groundling., by reason of his feeding on the ground; and he there feasts himself in sharp streams, and on the gravel. He and the barbel both feed so, and do not hunt for flies at any time, as most other fishes do: he is a most excellent fish to enter a young angler, being easy to be taken with a small red-worm, on or near to the ground. He is one of those leather-mouthed fish that has his teeth in his throat, and will hardly be lost off from the hook if he be once strucken.
They be usually scattered up and down every river in the shallows, in the heat of summer; but in autumn, when the weeds begin to grow sour and rot, and the weather colder, then they gather together, and get into the deep parts of the water, and are to be fished for there with your hook always touching the ground, if you fish for him with a float, or with a cork; but many will fish for the Gudgeon by hand, with a running-line upon the ground, without a cork, as a trout is fished for; and it is an excellent way, if you have a gentle rod and as gentle a hand."
Methods of Capture. Float fished maggot or worm is the favoured method for these fish. A pole or whip used in shallow water can produce large numbers of Gudgeon in a short space of time provided the shoal can be kept interested by loose feeding. White maggot can have good results as can bloodworm.
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