May 25, 2023
There seems to be a growing interest regarding spawning. Below is a guide to spawning for our more popular species. We say a guide as fish are not scientists, don't carry thermometers and can't read. Fish will spawn usually once year but, if conditions are right may spawn twice year. The only certainty is.....the fish know when to spawn! We hope this guide helps:
Pike like to spawn in shallow, weedy water when the water temperature reaches around 9 degrees C which means that they are one of the first coarse fish species to spawn and it normally takes place between February – May depending on latitude and weather conditions. The large females are usually accompanied by up to three or four smaller males and spawning can be a dangerous time. Often pike will show numerous signs of bite marks and other scale and fin damage after spawning.
Perch, like pike, are also early spawners, but they like the water to be a little warmer at around 13 degrees C. They spawn in groups and the females lay their eggs in lacy mats on weed, twigs, and sunken trees. This usually happens between April and May. If you ever pull a snag out of a canal while fishing in the spring and it’s covered in white eggs that are connected by lacy white snot, then they are Perch Eggs.
Dace are one of the species that you are least likely to see spawning as they seem to prefer to lay their eggs at night, like perch they usually spawn when the water is around 10-13 degrees C, but unlike perch they deposit their eggs in gravel. Dace will often migrate quite substantial distances to spawn in their preferred site. Again, they are an early spawner, usually in between March and April but depending on temperatures sometimes as early as February.
Roach love to spawn on weed and other submerged vegetation, in well-oxygenated, shallow water when the water temperature is around 14 degrees usually between the end of April and the beginning of June depending on weather conditions and latitude. In places where there is very little weed, such as canals, they often like to spawn on the roots of bankside vegetation that hangs into the water.
Chub are gravel spawners and congregate in large numbers, often in small feeder streams where there are good gravels, high oxygen levels and warm temperatures. They generally spawn when the water temperature is around 19-20 degrees C, so usually between late May and early June. However, in some years spawning can carry on much later.
The Barbel’s choice of spawning location and temperature is very similar to the chub and often they can be seen spawning on the same gravels at the same time. A typical female will produce up to 50,000 eggs which are deposited in the gravels for protection and will often migrate over long distances to spawn in their favourite areas. Again, most spawning takes place in May and June but can continue on into the summer in some years.
Carp are one of the easiest fish to spot spawning as they love to thrash about in the shallow weedy edges of lakes and rivers and generally make their presence well known. They like the water temperature to be at least 18 degrees C so most often spawning occurs in May or June, but like all fish, it’s very much dependent on location and weather conditions. The females deposit their sticky eggs on weeds, submerged roots, and similar substrate. Carp produce a huge number of eggs, and a good size female will often lay over a million. In northern parts of the UK carp often struggle to spawn successfully, except in lakes where there are extensive, sheltered, sunny, shallow, and weedy locations due to their need for warm water.
Rudd spawn at similar temperatures to Roach, but usually they prefer the water to be a degree or two warmer at around 15-16degrees C. In still waters and canals they will often favour reedbeds but will also spawn on weed and other submerged vegetation between April and July.
Tench like to make it difficult for themselves by refusing to spawn until the water temperature rises to between 20 – 24 degrees C This means that their effective range in the UK is limited apart from in places that offer particularly sheltered, sunny, shallow, locations, meaning they often have to be stocked for angling purpose. Their love of warm water means that they are one of the latest spawning fish in many places, with eggs being laid between May and July. This late spawning also means the young have a shorter growing period and growth rates are small, making it all the more difficult for juvenile fish to successfully see out their first year.
Crucians are enthusiastic spawners and like to get started fairly early for cyprinids, when the water temperature is around 14 degrees C. The males tend to chase the females so their spawning antics can often be witnessed if you are in the right place at the right time. The eggs are laid in weedy areas and usually hatch in just 5-7 days.
Gudgeon, like most cyprinids, form tubercles on the head (little light-coloured bumps) at spawning time and the females lay their eggs in several batches once the water temperature reaches around 14 Degrees C so normally in May or June depending on location. The eggs are actually quite large for such a small fish.
Despite it being of limited interest to anglers other than as a bait. Minnows will often migrate quite large distances to spawn and can be witnessed trying to get over weirs and other obstacles like miniature salmon! During spawning they change colour and their fairly dull exterior changes to bright oranges and bright greens. They like to spawn in gravel or pebble areas when the water is between 14-16 Degrees C.
Bream are famous for having very obvious tubercles (white bumps) on their head at spawning time and the temperature they begin spawning various quite a lot ranging between 12-20 degrees. They are another species that likes shallow, weedy areas and they will spawn more than once, often with an interval of about a week between sessions. The males get very territorial during spawning and will even attack lures intended for perch quite viciously on occasion. Bream will migrate huge distances (60Km plus) to visit historic spawning areas, often swimming past very similar habitat to get to where generations of bream have spawned in years past.
Stay Well & Stay Safe, 🎣🐟🎏
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