Since the turn of the year I had a couple of species that I wanted to target, Dace being one of them. I won't say I have been obsessed by them this season but it is borderline, my quest for a one pound specimen is the ultimate goal, but more importantly I've been keen to locate shoals and try to monitor them, not necessarily for conservation but more along the lines to see how quickly they grow.
The last couple of trips out have been in search of Dace, with plenty of maggots the plan was to trot every run possible. Holding areas have already been located and these have produced good fish to a dram over 14oz with the average roughly 10oz, they're some of the largest average Dace I've ever come across. Whilst I have this pool of special fish to aim at I intend to find out how large they grow. Yesterday I managed a couple of hours on the bank for the "Silver Darts", the colour and level of the river was perfect so I hoped they'd play.
With only a couple of hours to fish I decided to target a stretch that I've located two distinct shoals, to maximise my time I started feeding maggots immediately and run the float through on a far bank crease, from experience I know that indications are few and far between. For some reason I don't get many fish on each visit, not entirely sure why as I'm certain the shoals are around 30-40 strong each.
So, before arriving I know that I have to make every opportunity count, well that didn't happen yesterday. The one opportunity I got to land a Dace was ended abruptly by a sneaky bit of willow, a very large Dace cruised up to the surface as it fought in the flow, a clearly big specimen which was very close to the pound mark if not over headed straight for the snag, within seconds it was gone. Witnessing a large Dace transfer the hook to the branch and swim off was gut wrenching, needless to say I swore, a lot. After that two small Chub managed to stay on and represented the only fish caught, it could have been so much better.
|Stunning creatures, this is a specimen fish.|
I was extremely cautious in bringing it up the swim towards the net, in the flow it wasn't easy but made sure that I didn't suffer the same fate, lucky for me though she made it in, it was very big and I knew they were in these sections of that size. As I leant over the net to unhook her I found the little size 16 nestled in the bottom of the net......phew, after yesterday I deserved a bit of good fortune, without wasting any time she went straight in my trusty bag to give me a pleasing weight of 15oz 4dr......oh so close, she looked every bit of a pound too.
|Proper winter Dace, seasons best at 15oz 4dr.|
|River Rudd are very rare, great stuff!|
|Another large Dace at 13oz 2dr.|