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The Website for all Anglers

Details of British freshwater fish anglers might come across when fishing the waters of  the UK and Ireland

 

 

Barbel  latin name: Barbus barbus

Barbel

 

Bleak Alburnus alburnas fish species

Bleak

 

bream  - latin name - Abramis Brama

Bream

 

Carp Cyprinidae  Cyprinus carpio

Carp

 

crucian carp

Crucian Carp

 

chub -  Leuciscus_cephalus

Chub

 

Dace - latin name - Leuciscus leuciscus

Dace

 

eel - latin name - Anguilla anguilla

Eel

 

grayling Latin name thymallus thymallus

Grayling

 

Gudgeon Latin name Gobio gobio

Gudgeon

 

perch

Perch

 

pike latin name: esox lucius

Pike

 

Roach latin name: Rutilus Rutilus

Roach

 

Rudd - latin name- Scardinius erythrophthalmus

Rudd

 

ruffe

Ruffe

 

sliver bream

Silver Bream

 

Tench latin name: Tinca Tinca

Tench

 

Catfish

Wels Catfish

 

Zander - latin name - Stizostedion lucioperca

Zander

 

 

 

Species of UK Coarse Fish

 

Bleak

Description, baits and methods for Bleak fishing

 

Common name:  Bleak
Latin name: 
Alburnus alburnas
Family: Cyprinidae

 

Bleak Alburnus alburnas fish species

 

Current UK Rod Caught Coarse Fish Record

Bleak (Alburnus alburnas)  4oz 9dr 1998 D Flack from the River Lark in Cambridgeshire

 

Description and Habitat of Bleak
The Bleak is a member of the cyprinid family. It is a slender fish with an elongated and flat sided body. It has a pointed head with large eyes and a small mouth that is turned upwards.
Colouration of the bleak is generally a shiny silvery colour. The body is covered with large scales (when handling the fish be aware that the scales are loose and very easily dislodged) the back and flanks are silvery blue - green, merging into silver down the sides to a white belly. The lateral line is complete and the fins are pointed and colourless with a long anal fin concave at the edge and forked tail.

Bleak can be found in most streams, lakes and the slower moving rivers but prefers open waters. It is a shoal fish and often found in quite large shoals, living and feeding in the upper layers of the water. Its diet consists of a variety of aquatic invertebrates and insect larvae such as midge, caddis-fly, bloodworm, may-fly larvae, small crustaceans and molluscs.
The bleak spawns in May or June in shallow waters over stones or weed beds. It grows to a length of about 6 to 8 inches and the life span is around 4 or 5 years
The bleak is sometimes mistaken for the young of other fish species such as bream and silver bream but the bleak can easily be distinguished though its pointed upward turned mouth.

The Compleat Angler, by Izaak Walton 1653
The fourth day-continued
Of the Gudgeon, the Ruffe, and the Bleak
Chapter XV
 

There is also a BLEAK or fresh-water Sprat; a fish that is ever in motion, and therefore called by some the river-swallow; for just as you shall observe the swallow to be, most evenings in summer, ever in motion, making short and quick turns when he flies to catch flies, in the air, by which he lives; so does the Bleak at the top of the water. Ausonius would have called him Bleak from his whitish colour: his back is of a pleasant sad or sea-water-green; his belly, white and shining as the mountain snow. And doubtless, though we have the fortune, which virtue has in poor people, to be neglected, yet the Bleak ought to be much valued, though we want Allamot salt, and the skill that the Italians have, to turn them into anchovies. This fish may be caught with a Pater-noster line; that is, six or eight very small hooks tied along the line, one half a foot above the other: I have seen five caught thus at one time; and the bait has been gentles, than which none is better.

Or this fish may be caught with a fine small artificial fly, which is to be of a very sad brown colour, and very small, and the hook answerable. There is no better sport than whipping for Bleaks in a boat, or on a bank, in the swift water, in a summer's evening, with a hazel top about five or six foot long, and a line twice the length of the rod. I have heard Sir Henry Wotton say, that there be many that in Italy will catch swallows so, or especially martins; this bird-angler standing on the top of a steeple to do it, and with the line twice so long as I have spoken of. And let me tell you, scholar, that both Martins and Bleaks be most excellent meat

 

 

Fishing Methods for catching Bleak:

Bleak can be fished for and caught on light float tackle. Using a float rod or whip, place most of the shot under the float so that the bait falls through the water slowly. Using maggot as bait put 2 or 3 on a size 16 or 14 hook. With a shoal of bleak in front of you you will find you get bites fast and furious, even catching on maggot skins. A few loose fed maggot will keep them interested.

The Bleak is not usually targeted by the general angler but because they swim in large shoals and are easy to catch the match angler can soon whip up a big weight ' bleak bashing'. (this doesn't mean beating them up it means catching lots of bleak one after the other.) Bleak can be fished for and caught on light float tackle. Using a float rod or whip, place most of the shot under the float so that the bait falls through the water slowly. Using maggot as bait put 2 or 3 on a size 16 or 14 hook. With a shoal of bleak in front of you you will find you get bites fast and furious, even catching on maggot skins. A few loose fed maggot will keep them interested. Like the gudgeon, the bleak has saved the day for many a match angler from blanking.

Baits for catching Bleak:
Maggot, pinkies, caster, small red worm, brandling, pieces of worm, small pieces of bread, bread punch

 

 

 

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