Species of UK
Description, baits and methods for catching Ruffe
Common name: Ruffe
Latin name: Gymnocephalus cernuus
UK Rod Caught Coarse Fish Record
cernuus) 5oz 4dr 1980 R J Jenkins, West View Farm, Cumbria
Description and habitat of Ruffe:
The Ruffe, also known as the Pope or Tommy Ruffe, is a relative of the Perch
(Perca fluviatilis) and sometimes mistaken by beginners to angling as
a young perch due to the similar spiny dorsal fin. The average size is
between 4 and 5 inches but can grow larger. It has quite large eyes
and a small, slightly down turned mouth with bristly teeth. The body
is an olive green or pale brown colour speckled with dark spots
decreasing in size fading to a whitish underbelly. The Ruffe has two
dorsal fins that are joined; the forward dorsal fin has sharp spines
just like that of the perch and the back fin is made up of soft rays.
The gill covers of Ruffe are also sharp and spiny.
The Ruffe is generally a shoaling fish and can be found in fresh or
brackish waters, in rivers, lakes and ponds although they seem to
prefer slow moving rivers. They are most active at dusk or dawn
feeding on insects, larvae, worms and small fry fish.
I've not been able to verify this but I have read somewhere that Ruffe
also eat the young of the signal crayfish. The signal
crayfish is classed as an
alien invader and a threat to our native
white claw crayfish.
Fishing methods for catching Ruffe:
Ruffe are not, as far as I am aware, targeted by anglers. Ruffe can of
course be caught and indeed when anglers are fishing for
other species the odd Ruffe gets landed. As Ruffe can generally be found in the waters Perch
inhabit you could chance your luck fishing for Ruffe in the same waters using a light line with a small worm on a size 16 to 20 hook.
Fishing a float over depth or a small feeder / leger hard on the
bottom in the margins is worth a try.
for catching Ruffe:
small worms, chopped up pieces of worm, red worm, brandlings, maggots.
As with Perch, Ruffe are prone to deep hooking.
Strike early at bites to try to avoid this. If you find you have deep
hooked the fish and the hook cant be removed without damage to the
Ruffe it is better to cut the line as close to the hook as possible.
The hook will dislodge itself or will eventually rust away.
Using barbless hooks make removal a lot easier!