Coarse Fishing


Our brief, plain speaking guide to dace.

Dace are slim-bodied with a relatively small head and mouth. Fully scaled, its lateral line swoops down and up from front to back, tracing 50 or so pored scales. The pelvic fin is directly below the dorsal, with a small anal fin further back on its underside, before a fanned tail of 8 or so branches. Colouring is green/olive on the back, silver sides and belly (occasionally whitish). Main fins and tail are grey, smaller ones yellow/ pale orange.
Finding them
When coarse fishing for dace, look first in clean running water, usually at the middle reaches of rivers, or upstream brooks. But just to confuse matters, it is quite an adaptable chap so can also be found in slow-flowing lowland rivers too.
Food and bait
Dace are mainly surface or midwater feeders, mostly gobbling up flying and aquatic larval insects, and any unfortunates who fall into the water from overhanging trees or river banks. In winter they will feed closer to the bottom, something they will also do if hassled by boats and rivercraft. For coarse fishing, there are few bait types that dace won’t go for, so maggots, worms, most types of bread, berries, groundbait, and seed are all on the menu.
Spawning in spring, dace lay eggs in roots and gravel beds.
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