About animals

Gudgeon (Gobio gobio)


Pescara is a freshwater flock of fish found in the basins of all rivers in the presence of sandy or sandy-pebble soils and clean water, namely, mainly in large and small rivers, in mountain rivers and streams, less often in old forests, lakes and even in muddy ponds , and also occurs in brackish waters of sea bays. It is less common in fast rivers, in mountain streams with cold water and in heavily polluted water bodies. The presence of a gudgeon is a sign of clean, oxygen-rich water.

Body structure and coloring features

The body of the gudgeon is elongated, almost cylindrical, covered with relatively large scales without mucus, with a slightly flattened abdomen. The head is large, the forehead is wide, the eyes are set high. Mouth small, lower, in the corners of it on each side, one leathery tendril.
Gray tones predominate in the color of the gudgeon: the back is gray with a slightly greenish tint, the sides are light, cream, slightly silver, the belly is whitish or yellowish-white. Bluish or blackish spots are scattered throughout the body in a multitude, on the sides they merge into one strip. Unpaired fins (dorsal and caudal) are gray, with dark lines and spots, paired (pectoral and ventral) are pale yellow.
There are two types of minnows: black and blue. The first is larger, darker in color and more striking. The second is lighter, more transparent and most often very shallow.

Dimensions and Weight

Gudgeon - a small fish, grows slowly. The body length of the largest gudgeon, as a rule, does not exceed 14-15 cm, and it is very rare to find a gudgeon 20 cm long. Most often, individuals are found no larger than 8-10 cm, live weight 0.02-0.04 kg. According to the fishing legend, the largest of the minnows caught weighed 400 g, caused a stir among the fishermen and went down in history with its weight. It happened on the Moscow River.


The spawning period of the gudgeon is long due to the proportion of spawning, lasting from the end of April to June. Pescaras that live in floodplain ponds and flood lakes, during the spill, go to spawn for rivers. Caviar is laid in shallow places and rifts with a sandy or cartilaginous bottom on vegetation, on the bottom, on stones at dams.
Caviar is small, sticky, bluish in color.


The gudgeon feeds mainly on bottom animal organisms - worms, insect larvae (mosquitoes, mayflies), small crustaceans and mollusks, decayed organic residues, which it extracts from sand and silt. During spawning of other species of fish eagerly eats their eggs. Sometimes it can eat vegetation. Very rarely bites on bread, grains and cereals, only if very hungry. It can be caught on any worm.
As nozzles, usually use pieces of (or small) worms, small maggot, autumn in the greater degree bloodworm. In mid-summer, a gudgeon takes on a dough mixed with aromatic additives. You can use bait by rolling these feeds into clay balls or laying them in mesh feeders.

Habitats by season and time of day

Gudgeon is found everywhere where it is not so deep and the water is fresh. In lakes, he adheres to sandbanks, as well as sandy or rocky shores, which are not too densely overgrown with underwater vegetation. In the rivers during the spring and summer, the gudgeon keeps on the heated shallow waters and shallow rifts.
He gives preference to places with a middle course and a sandy-pebble bottom.
Pescaras are caught for fishing from the earliest spring and almost until the freezing, they rarely change their habits. In the spring, immediately with the enlightenment of water, in one place you can catch more than a hundred minnows. It is better to catch in places where the bottom has small indentations or shelters in the form of stones or firewood. They peck in the morning and evening, and during prolonged rains and with the onset of autumn - throughout the day. At night, minnows have a rest, and at this time ruffs “work” on the sandbanks for them.
In the autumn, nibbling is not equally intense, because with a seasonal decrease in temperature, flocks of minnows begin to gradually move to deeper places with a sandy or weakly silty bottom, but near rifts. In November, the gudgeon gathers in dense thickets of aquatic vegetation for wintering. Therefore, with the onset of the first frosts, it is necessary to search for it in overgrown coastal pits 2-3 m deep with a weak current, in the whirlpools of small rivers not far from the rapids. In the same places gudgeon can sometimes be caught in the winter. In the middle of winter, when the oxygen content in the water decreases markedly, numerous flocks of minnows can accumulate near the bottom keys or spillways.


The gudgeon is caught mainly by lightweight simple float and bottom gear. The rod is used light and short, up to 2.5 m long, because, firstly, you will have to hold it in your hand all the time, and secondly, the fisherman’s gudgeon is not afraid and approaches right at his feet. A solid fishing line with a diameter of up to 0.2 mm and a hook No. 2.5-3.5, without a leash, is put on the rod. The float is used small and sensitive, surrounding it with one pellet, mounted at a distance of about 10 cm from the hook. As a load, they sometimes put a small bright, but not shiny round mormyshka.

Catching gudgeon

A gudgeon is caught in shallow places with a sandy-pebble bottom, near shallow rifts, most often in places where other fish are bore.
The nozzle is launched along the bottom, dragging it slightly along it. If the nozzle is high, even at half-water, minnows will not rise behind it.
In hot weather or when atmospheric pressure changes, the gudgeon’s nibble weakens. Then the float is removed, and instead of a weight and a hook they put a rounded mormyshka with a No. 3 hook in black with small white or red dots. The common line is lengthened, and a bloodworm or a small maggot is planted on the hook. The nozzle is thrown perpendicular to the shore for the entire length of the fishing line, and then, while maintaining the tension of the fishing line, they stretch the mormyshka along the bottom, alternating its smooth and spasmodic movement.
With a slight turbidity of the water, the gnaw of the gudgeon improves. Using this, anglers throw a handful of sand or earth into the place of fishing and place the bait in a stream of the resulting turbidity. You can catch gudgeon and in the wild, rocking the sand with your feet above the roll. In this case, the fish come to the very feet of the fisherman, moving along a stream of turbidity against the current.
After catching the fish, the nozzle, if it is well preserved, is thrown repeatedly, and at the same place.
Winter fishing with float tackle or mormyshka is successful if conducted in a significant concentration of minnows. In winter, bloodworms are used as nozzles.


The gudgeon pecks resolutely that immediately shows a float, a nod or a bell. The float abruptly goes under water, if there is a nod on the fishing rod (the bottom is without a downhill), then when biting, the fishing line stretches and jerks sharply, bending the nod, and then freezes, the bell rings. Typically, these signals indicate self-hacking gudgeon. Nevertheless, it is necessary to hook up immediately, but not sharply and not strongly, since the gudgeon's lips are delicate and easily torn. In the ponds, the minnows first hit the float two times, and then they pull it down.


The first data on an ordinary gudgeon appeared in the XVIII century (Linnaeus, 1758) - in England. Further, this species was studied on Lake Baikal (Georgi, 1775). In all areas of its habitat, this species of gudgeon is numerous. In Russia, data on this type of gudgeon first appeared in the work “Fauna of the Russian Empire. Pisces ”(Berg, 1912). Since that time, this type of gudgeon has been studied by many researchers (Berg, 1914, Nikolsky, 1936, Bogutskaya, Naseka, 1996)


An ordinary gudgeon lives throughout Europe, with the exception of the Iberian and Apennine peninsulas, the Danube and Dniester basins.

The gudgeon’s head is slightly flattened, the mouth is lower. At the corners of the mouth are antennae.

The body is spindle-shaped, slightly hunchbacked, slightly flattened laterally. It is covered with rather large scales, the line of the belly is straight, the head is quite long, devoid of bottom scales. The eyes are large, the back is brown-black or brown-blue, sometimes brownish-greenish.

The dorsal and caudal fins of the gudgeon are yellowish-gray with a number of small, dark spots. The ventral and pectoral fins are light or colorless.

The eyes are yellow, rather large compared to the proportions of the body.


In Russia, the common gudgeon lives both in rivers and in lakes and ponds.

Most often, a gudgeon lives in places with a slow course, but it is able to get used to stagnant water. A gudgeon lives in packs, holding on to a sandy bottom or small stones, avoids a muddy bottom, and also occurs in large schools in coastal bays. In Russia, there are three types of gudgeon. The most common gudgeon is common, as well as the white-footed gudgeon (Gobio albipinnatus) and the long-minded gudgeon (Gobio kessleri). The last two species are protected.

It is best for minnows to peck at a small red worm, but they are also attracted to maggots or lures by flying insects. Before catching these fish in shallow water, you can slightly agitate the bottom. A cloud of sand or sediment attracts minnows looking for food. Some young fishermen manage to catch minnows without a fishing rod, throwing a worm on the fishing line in shallow water near the bridges. The gudgeon is well suited as a bait for fishing for live bait: when it is thrown into the water, it quickly swims to the bottom, attracting the attention of predatory fish.

Ford on the river

Ford on the river

Pescaras are kept in fairly shallow places with a sandy bottom and small stones. They like to feed near the bottom with slightly stirred up silt. Such a place is a ford, which keep minnows.

In rocky rivers

In rocky rivers

Flocks of minnows swim in clean shallow rivers with a sandy bottom and stones. They like to be there in the fall, when fish of the salmon family begin to spawn - minnows hunt for eggs laid by them. In May and June, in places with a hard bottom and a fast current, minnows lay eggs of a yellowish-gray color.

Gudgeon as an object of interest

Many predatory fish feed on minnows, in connection with which minnows are used when fishing for predatory fish as bait for girders and circles. Gudgeon in this sense is one of the best nozzles, so it is popular with experienced anglers.
The gudgeon is also interesting for beginner anglers, because it is easy to catch: it is kept shallow, usually in packs, it is not afraid of a person, it bites “reliably”.
Pescaras are very tasty, especially fried and slightly dried. They are good in the ear.


It was previously believed that the range is very wide, and several forms of this species stood out within its range (Berg, 1949 a). According to the latest revision of the minnows of the genus Gobio, the habitat of the common gudgeon is limited to water bodies in the northeastern part of Europe: Great Britain, southern Sweden, water bodies in the basins of the White, Baltic and North Seas, and Volga. Within this range, common gudgeon populations are characterized by significant morphological homogeneity (Vasilieva et al., 2004). Thus, within the region this species lives only in the river basin. Volga. For example, his stay in the river is known. Tereshka and its tributaries within the adjacent Radishchevsky district of the Ulyanovsk region (Artemyeva, Selishchev, 2005), in the middle reaches of the river. Kurdyum in the Saratov and Tatishchevsky districts (Belyanin, 2006). The taxonomic status of minnows from the reservoirs of the Don basin needs to be clarified.

Pescara: description and external features

Small freshwater fish does not have the slightest commercial value due to the small number of populations and difficulties in catching, but it is found everywhere and is distinguished by excellent gastronomic qualities. The average size of an ordinary gudgeon is 10-12 cm, large - 15-18 cm. Officially, a specimen weighing 192 g and a length of 22 cm is considered the record holder.

Thanks to the unusual appearance, it is possible to understand what a gudgeon looks like without an image. A short description of the main features of the fish is enough for this:

  • body lengthening is noticeable already in the region of the head and in the area between the dorsal and caudal fins, which makes it look like a spindle,
  • a greenish-brown shade of the back,
  • a powerful pair of mustaches in the corners of the upper lips protruding forward,
  • large bulging eyes located in the frontal part of the head,
  • well developed pectoral fins,
  • silvery sides with dark spots along the midline,
  • light yellow belly,
  • rather large scales (40-45 pieces from the gills to the tail),
  • small dorsal fin forming an almost regular triangle.

Almost a lifetime gudgeon lives at the bottom. This explains why the belly has an increased width and pronounced flatness. The main color of the fins is gray or yellowish.


The gudgeon has a long, thin, rounded body and, as a rule, is 9-13 cm (3.5-5.1) in length, but can reach up to 21 cm (8.3 inches). It has short dorsal and anal fins that do not have serrated rays. There is a labial barbel on every corner of his mouth. It has two rows of pharyngeal teeth, conical, and slightly curved at the end. Its head is wide and flattened, with a rather blunt muzzle, the lower jaw is shorter than the upper. It has a relatively large scale, and there are 40 to 45 of them along the sideline. Her swimming bladder is big. Usually greenish-brown on top and silver on the sides, this fish has a row of six to twelve weak dark spots working along the flank. It has a white underside, and its pectoral, ventral, and anal fins are grayish-white in color with a brownish tint. Dorsal and caudal fins pale brown in color with darker spots.

Distribution and habitat

Gudgeon is present in freshwater systems that drain in the eastern Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea and the Baltic Sea basins. These drains include Loire drains and drains further to the east, eastern Great Britain and the Rhone drains, the upper Danube and the middle and upper Dniester, in the Bug and Dnieper drains in the Black Sea basin. It is not yet clear how far in Asia its range extends. It is usually found in lakes, rivers and streams of all sizes that have sand or gravel bases.


The gudgeon moves in schools over sandy and gravel soils, feeding on worms, aquatic insects and larvae, small mollusks, eggs and fry. It is usually active throughout the day. It is capable of emitting squeak sounds, which are believed to be a means of communication between individuals. Nests in shallow water above stones. Eggs are laid from April to August, when the water temperature is above 13 ° C. Eggs stand out above the substrate and swim adrift to the bottom. Larvae and juveniles feed on detritus at the bottom. The fry grow by about 12 cm (4.7 inches) during the first year, and this fish can live up to five years. The variety is greatly appreciated for its delicate taste.


Gudgeon is the common prey of many fish-eating predators, like an otter or common kingfisher. In Central Europe, on streams and rivers, the gudgeon, consisting of up to 45% of the diet of the common kingfisher (numbers, usually from 25-35%), was the most preyed fish. One study showed that a gudgeon composed over 80% of the diet otter numbers and over 50% of the diet by weight (Chotýšanka stream, Central Bohemia, Czech Republic).

Short description

The sizes are small - 10-15 cm in length, but instances are larger. Appearance is quite specific: the body is fusiform, slightly flattened from the side of the abdomen. Large scales. Snout elongated, lower mouth, lower lip interrupted in the middle, at the corners of the mouth there is a well-developed pair of antennae. In the lateral line of 40-45 scales.The body on top is painted in greenish-brown tones, silver on the sides, covered with bluish or blackish spots, sometimes merging into a continuous dark strip, the belly is yellowish. The dorsal and caudal fins carry numerous dark points. In water, it is easy to recognize by the large, pectoral fins widely spaced apart, which give the body a triangular shape.

Biology features

It reaches puberty at the age of 3-4 years, when the body length is at least 8 cm.The ratio of males and females, according to observations in the rivers Sura, Moksha and Malaya Tsivil in July - August, is approximately equal (Artaev and Ruchin, 2007 b). Portion spawning, starts at a water temperature of +7 ° C, its total duration is 1.5-2 months. Fertility does not exceed 10-12 thousand sticky eggs, which are deposited on solid substrates in shallow waters. The eggs are encrusted with particles of silt, grains of sand, from which they become invisible. Larvae hatch with large pectoral fins and highly pigmented eyes. They do not respond to light and remain at the bottom for several more days. By the end of the growing season, young fish reach a length of 5 cm. It belongs to typical benthophages: the larvae feed on small bottom invertebrates (rhizopods, rotifers), young and adult fish consume mayflies and small mollusks, and other fish eggs.

Interesting underwater gudgeon shooting

By nature, the fish is very careful, as it is included in the diet of waterfowl, pike, perch, asp, perch and even ruff. To protect themselves from threats and notice the danger in time, the gudgeon lives in large packs, which include individuals of different ages.

How to choose a place and what to catch a gudgeon

Promising for fishing can be considered flowing cool ponds with a hard bottom (sand, stone, pebbles, clay). Sandy shallow water, rocky river rapids, well-heated pits and dumps at moderate depths are best suited for catching gudgeon.

Pecker will only peck on baits of animal origin. As for bread, dough, cereals and other vegetable nozzles, they are of little use.

A universal bait can be considered a worm of iron ore, but, since it is included in the Red Book of the Russian Federation, it is better to abandon this idea and use other nozzles.

The gudgeon is well caught on bloodworms, maggots, larvae of the drozenka and caddis, a dung worm. The first two are planted both individually and in a bunch of several. The worm is best used in parts, without forming a too long hanging tail.

Gudgeon fishing does not require bait. The exception is earth balls with the addition of chopped worm and bloodworms, which, when released into the water, create a cloud of turbidity that lures the fish.