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Baits and tackle for catching dace

For their small size, dace are game fighters when using light tackle. A line of 11 to 2 lb (0.67 to 0.9 kg) breaking strain is ample when dace fishing although an interloping chub may test your skill with this tackle. IVlaggots and casters are good baits used in conjunction with asizc 16 or 18 hook. Being such small fish, dace are not really worth fishing for unless you attempt to catch a lot of them. Feed the swim you are fishing with loose maggots and casters. A small handful thrown in after every few casts will eventually get the fish feeding madly. Begin by fishing slightly over depth but be prepared to lower your float should the dace begin to rise to intercept your loose feed.

On some rivers a spate, following heavy rain, will cause the dace to feed voraciously. In these conditions dace seem prepared to tackle any kind of bait. When the river has been running high and coloured I have frequently caught dace on huge lobworms and size 6 hooks whilst fishing for barbel. This is not the ideal tackle with which to enjoy sport with dace, but I have sometimes taken advantage of finding big shoals of dace by accident and continued to catch them. By scaling down my tackle I have caught most of my larger dace in rivers which were in spate and coloured.

During the winter months dace move away from the heavier currents into the slacker water. Laying on with light float tackle is a good method for catching dace during the winter. By selecting a good swim and carefully feeding loose maggots into the river, you can draw dace in so close that you are catching them under your rod tip. It is not very easy to try and catch the larger dace but do avoid the tiny ones. In many rivers the average dace-only weighs a few ounces (grammes) and larger fish than this are rare. In rivers where they exist, big dace tend to keep to the slower water and seldom mix with the shoals of smaller fish.

Dace can be caught on fly tackle and a few hours dry fly-fishing for them can be extremely enjoyable. The rises are very fast, and so must your reactions be to catch them.

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