Horse gudgeon

FullSizeRender-6Among the less absurd practices of the Golden Scale Club was the annual gudgeon fishing trip. The humble gudgeon (Gobio gobio) has long been held with a regard that is not in keeping with its size. With a specimen weighing somewhere in the region of 2 ounces (smaller still on some waters) and the record a little over a quarter of a pound, the gudgeon is not a fish that will ever put a serious bend in the rod. It is spirited, though, and fizzes about when hooked, and once on the bank has the sparkling, diamond patterned beauty that can match any fish.

The Annual GSC match (which in recent years has become a fiercely contested battle against the might of The Gobio Society began to gain increasing popularity among the Committee and Associate Membership, and as years passed, larger venues were sort. By the mid-1980’s the Hampshire Avon became a venue of choice, but the gudgeon stocks were low and many competitors began to fish with bigger baits and thicker lines in the hope of one of the barbel for which the river was, and still is, renowned. Such captures were then presented for consideration under the guise of ‘golden gudgeon’ or, more commonly, ‘horse gudgeon’ – them being a gudgeon so big you could strap a saddle to it.

It was not long before the rules of competition were all but abandoned and the credibility of the Club itself dragged into deeper, more sordid depths. Some say it has never recovered…

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