We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.

Gudgeon

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, courtesy of Jack Perks Gudgeon, courtesy of Jack Perks
"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 fishes body).

Lifespan: 3 to 5 years

We like gudgeon because they can be found in most canals and they thrive in heavily trafficked canals. Find out why national fisheries & angling manager John Ellis is a big fan of the gudgeon.

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: 5 August 2016