Dace

Aknib

Well-known member
I was watching a very enjoyable video earlier with James Robbins who was fishing the Tyne for Dace which, as seems to be the case on many northern rivers nowadays, appear to be abundant enough to be viable match targets for winning weights.

Similar results were also displayed on other rivers where Dace appeared to be very prolific.

As I recall, although certainly not rare in my part of the world during my earlier years they definitely weren't around in what appears to be the numbers today despite them being on the menu for everything from Perch to Otters.

The Trent is stuffed with them and after a bit of digging through my own archives, having had my memory prodded by the video, I came across an image I was looking for from a session several years ago and they seem to have been multiplying ever since...



Is this more of a northern thing or are the southern rivers also seeing a resurgence in the numbers of Dace?

I know there have always been prolific Dace rivers but are they still doing it, in addition to the many more which now seem to be throwing up large numbers and are we entering a new golden era for them?

I hope so.
 

bullet

Well-known member
I hope so as well, I love Dace, really feisty dashing little fish.
Down here, I don't think numbers have changed a lot in the last 10 years or so, but we're not blessed for coarse fishing rivers.
 

nottskev

Well-known member
There are plenty on the stretch 5 minutes from my house. Lovely fishing in the evenings in summer on stick or long whip.

 

s63

Well-known member
I think of dace as an expensive species, they are just so damned quick, I’m constantly looking for a better and more perfect rod to beat the little fokkers.
 

rob48

Well-known member
I think of dace as an expensive species, they are just so damned quick, I’m constantly looking for a better and more perfect rod to beat the little fokkers.
The Browning spliced-tip rod is excellent for hitting fast roach and dace bites and doesn't seem to bump many fish either.
 

nottskev

Well-known member
That's true, John - they can be swarming around your feed and bait, and still chew your maggot and spit it out before you know it!
 

sam vimes

Well-known member
The Tyne, Wear and Tees have all had fairly extensive stocking of dace in recent years. All three have been well known as dace fisheries in the past. As a result of these stockings they are definitely a lot better than they were at their lowest ebb. There's good reason why I have largely abandoned my usual Swale haunts in favour of fishing the Tees in the last couple of years. The Swale is fractionally closer, but the rewards on the Tees are far better meaning that a few extra miles of travel are well worth it. I wouldn't have considered that to be the case even five years ago.
 

tigger

Well-known member
Funny enough I never have a problem hitting dace. I find them to be one of the easiest fish to catch. That's my experience on a number of rivers, not just one. Regarding the rods of choice, any decent float rod should be fine.
 

markg

Well-known member
On the Thames back in the 60's I often caught dace but we considered them bit of a nuisance fish, preferring to catch the bigger roach. I come across them now and then now but not in great numbers, in fact they seem to disappear altogether some seasons on a couple of SE rivers I fish but that might be a cyclic thing. Overall I think they have become rarer here though, I just do not see as many generally as I once did. However, that's just one persons observation.
On the odd occasion I have fly fished for coarse fish they readily rise to a fly but getting a take from them or hooking them if they do is nigh on impossible. I never actually deliberately fish for them, the constant float bobbing and sucked bait with no fish but, I admire them for being pretty fish and a specimen would be worth catching.
 

whitty

Well-known member
Dace have come back on the Gt.Ouse up and downstream of Bedford,size isnt particularly good mind,on the Lea,dace numbers dont seem good,mainly because cormorants have found the upper river and roach and dace are prime grub...
 

Mark Wintle

Well-known member
Before the black death dace stocks were phenomenal in my local rivers; I grew up catching big bags of dace on the Frome and Piddle with the upstream migrations from the lower tidal reaches forming huge winter shoals, similar to those of the tidal Stour from Christchurch Harbour, and catches of 30lbs were nothing unusual (I had 550 in a match catch on the Stour one day). The middle Stour at Blandford and Wimborne were similarly prolific, as was the Hants. Avon. There are still dace around but I doubt I totalled 20 this winter, still get a few small ones when summer roach fishing.

The challenge years ago was finding out how to catch roach from amongst the dace when pleasure fishing, bread was part of the answer though I have had 20lb catches of dace on bread punch.
 

Peter Jacobs

Moderator
Staff member
There are still few decent dace swims on the Hampshire Avon around Downton, typically in the 10 to 14 ounce range.

Trotting for dace on a summer evening used to be lovely eay to spend a few hours.

A good few years ago I took a lady member from FM onto the Hale syndicate to show her how to "dap for dace" using a dapping floss line and a few small dry flies.

Dapping is largely a "dead art these days but worth a try if you ever want something different . . . . a long rod around 15 feet and a dapping floss line which is pretty cheap and a few flies . . . all you need.
 

rob48

Well-known member
As the OP wrote, there's plenty in the Trent but they tend to be on the small side. The Wye, on the other hand seems to have loads of a good average size with plenty of 10oz fish and some bigger regularly showing.
 

john step

Well-known member
In the 70s the dace fishing on the tidal Thames was amazing. Richmond was the place to head for with free car parking at Ham.
Then they disappeared when the black death appeared.
 

barbelboi

Well-known member
Plenty of dace in the local streams and rivers here just a short walk away but not to 'specimen' size averaging out at around 5/7oz - to catch anything over 8oz it's a 20 minute car ride to the Gt Ouse. In years gone by the Kennet was my go to dace river with a real prospect of catching a 1lb'er or three during a season - even had a 1'er out of the Colne in the early 70's. My go to dace rod these days for consistently hitting them is the Accy Ultra too.................

The good thing about dace swims is, once you've found them, you can usually guarantee they will stay there 'til at least early November.
 

barbelboi

Well-known member
In the 70s the dace fishing on the tidal Thames was amazing. Richmond was the place to head for with free car parking at Ham.
Then they disappeared when the black death appeared.
During the big fish raw sewage kill a few years ago in the tidal Thames my son showed me pictures of dead dace topping 1lb............they were still there
 

Molehill

Well-known member
Plenty in the Severn, I think every swim I fish that looked like it should hold dace did hold dace. When I fished the upper Wye - Builth Wells - locals talk about the dace shoals that have all gone, I certainly never caught one there when grayling trotting.
I do like them for sport, hard to beat standing in a river during the summer and trotting a float down, hope it happens again this coming season.
 
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