An elongated but round-bodied fish with a large head, the gudgeon (Gobio gobio) is found in most canals. Read more about this tiny fish including the best bait to catch one with.
Gudgeon are a relatively easy fish to catch and match anglers in particular are very adept at catching several hundred during a competition.Carl Nicholls, fisheries & angling manager
Appearance: an elongated but round-bodied fish, grey to golden in colour with a large head. Gudgeon resemble small barbel, but instead of having two pairs of barbels, the mouth of the gudgeon has only one.
Size: typically half an ounce or less
British record: 5oz (British record committee 2015)
Lateral line scale count: 38-44 (this is the dark row of scales along the central length of the fish's body)
Lifespan: 3 to 5 years
We like gudgeon because: they can be found in most canals and thrive in heavily trafficked canals.
How to catch a gudgeon
Gudgeon are a relatively easy fish to catch and match anglers in particular are very adept at catching several hundred during a competition. They can be caught on the towpath side edge, fishing no more than a couple of metres from the water’s edge, on or just off the bottom. Alternatively, fish on the far bank using a long pole or waggler tactics. A single pinkie or maggot is as good a bait as any. Hook size needs to be small, a size 20 or 22 being ideal. Gudgeon are particularly attracted by sweet-smelling ground bait, with feeding on a 'little and often' basis.
Where to catch a gudgeon
In almost any canal or river.
Last date edited: 24 December 2020