Dace (Leuciscus Leuciscus)

British Record:
1lb 5oz 2dr, Simon Ashton, River Wear, 2002

Scottish Record:
1lb 3oz 8dr, (0.533kg), G Keech, River Tweed, Coldstream, 1979


The Fish

Dace are mainly found in rivers or streams but are also present in flowing canal venues. They are very active feeders and gather in large shoals on clear, fast flowing shallows where they predominantly feed on anything washed downstream in the current.

Dace average between 2 to 8 ounces and give lightning fast bites which on some days are almost impossible to hit and very frustrating. They are therefore seen as a great challenge by many anglers and the ability to put together a good net of them is a real achievement.


Fishing for Dace

Although Dace will feed at all levels, they are renowned for competing for feed up in the water and are thus best targeted with a running line approach with the stick float on fast moving water and waggler on wider or more steady swims being the best approach.

Rigs should be set up to allow bites to be registered on the drop as often the dace will take and reject a bait before the float has had time to settle. For this reason it is always best to loose feed a little downstream to give you time to get the float under control before reaching the catching area.

If fish do come too high in the swim two pouches of hemp feed slightly downstream will often see them drop back to chase the particles.

Dace will take most baits but due to the speed of their bites small baits such as maggots or casters fish with loose fed hemp will give you the best chance of catching them.

During a session they will often drift in and out of the swim and it is vital to keep adjusting the quantity of loose feed and ringing the changes with hook baits to keep them coming.

It is always best to start feeding on a little and often basis (20 grains of hemp, followed by just two or three maggots or casters every run through) rather than start blasting if from the off.

Remember, you can’t take it out once you have put in but you can always step up the feed if the fish want more.