The Dace

The Dace

The dace, Have you quick reactions and a rapid strike? You will need them to catch these small, silvery fish

The Vital statistics

Scientific name – Leuciscus leuciscus


Map showing the distribution of Dace throughout the UK and IrelandLife Span – 13 years

Maximum Weight – 1 lb 4oz (567g)

Maximum Length ? 12in (30cm)

Distribution ? See map on right. Steamy rivers, they are found throughout England, but are less common in Wales, the West Country and the north. They are absent in Scotland and only found in the Blackwater in Ireland.

Season ? June to March. They feed all the year round, and the best fishing is in winter when they are in peak condition.

Natural Diet ? Insects and worms. Avid surface feeders on flies and moths.


Where do they hang out?

It is all very well knowing the methods for catching the fish but if you don’t know where they are, then the method is no good to you.

Where to find Dace in the River

Where will you find them ? – They will be found in different places depending on the time of year, in winter they can be found in deep pools or in slack water getting away from the flow to conserve energy. They move into the shallow riffles in February to breed. In the summer they can be found in shallow fast flowing water or close to the surface under the cover of a bridge or over hanging trees.

method - on the drop mid water

How do you catch them ?

There are several methods for catching them. These include free lining and float fishing mid-water with worms,maggots,etc…

Mayfly for catching Dace You can even try fly fishing for them, fly fishing for them is good fun, albeit frustrating. You will find it hard to connect with one in six offers on the fly, because they will take and reject a fly like lightning.


The rig " on the trot" set up

Free lining will work sometimes but if the fish feels any resistance when it trys to take the bait it will drop it and leave.

Some of the best dace fishing is to be had trotting maggots on a cold, frosty day on a clear river.