The gudgeon (Cyprinus gobio) frequently forms the young angler's first quarry. This little fish abounds in large shoals in the Thames and other rivers, six or seven dozen, or even more, frequently being taken at once pitch. No ground-bait is required to attract them, but the bottom being disturbed and harrowed by a heavy iron rake, the fish flock to the spot to search for food in the debris, and they will continue to bite for some time, when another rake renews their avidity. A light cork float and a small 10 or 11 hook, with a fragment of red worm, is all that is needed, for so eager are the little fellows, that they pull the float down with a dash, so that the angler rarely misses his prey. A dish of gudgeons, gently fried, crisp and brown, is by no means to be despised. With the gudgeon, the pope, or ruffe (Perca cernau), is often found. It is little worth for the angler, and is not very abundant. All that applies to the capture of the gudgeon applies to the pope. The bleak also (Cyprinus alburnus), a lively little fish, but hardly worth the angler's notice; it may be taken either with bait or fly, as is the dace.
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