Monday, 6 May 2013

What's with the Hybrids (man)?

Over the past month the frequency of hybrids in catches on the local cut has been increasing but the most surprising element has been the sheer size of the individuals

Were is not for the fact that they are not a fish-type one would purposely seek-out, the excitement could have reached fever-pitch but, sadly to a degree, as they are not a species, they really don't seem to count in most anglers' eyes and I have included myself in that number...until now

As they are so prevalent, and have been right through the period since early 2012 when my own personal fishing life was reborn, the decision has been made to create an extra line in the PB's to accommodate this underrated heavy-weight fighter of canals and slow-flowing rivers

Back-tracking from today, when three such individuals were taken from the western-most section of the North Oxford before breakfast, early morning sessions since the first day of April have produced the following specimens (we're allowed to call them that as of now, it's official!) in chronological order:
1-0-3, 1-4-3, 3-5-6, 3-14-0, 2-11-5, 4-0-3, 1-11-8, 2-0-6, 1-11-2, 0-8-0

This one seemed almost entirely roach in certain light but the anal fin is too long
This list stretches over eight 2-3 hour sessions but on only one of those were none caught and in the last two trips they have dominated the catches quite comfortably

Whilst they are all canal fish the size has been such that three 'all waters' PB's are among that list and, hand on the (sometimes faltering when these things come to the top) heart, the 4-0-3 half roach/half man individual is unlikely ever to be beaten, I suspect

Eye of roach...

...but anal fin longer than roach and heading to breamy proportions with caudal fin not quite as paddle-like as bream in this
4-0-3 example 
 The majority of the fish have been more roach than bream, with a hint of blue iridescence to their 
scales but the give away extended anal fin length and tail size removes any doubt as to the fact that the parents of these fish included bream, that, combined with the lack of red pigment in the fins

Something possesses them with an increased power in the fight, presumably some kind of jumbled-up mix of the roaches fight with the weight and form of bream. They have invariably been chunky fish, well recovered from the long, deep winter, and a high percentage would have measured two inches or more across their substantial bellies thus adding to their ability to resist the anglers' (slipping) clutches

Henceforth then the hybrid will be loved and noted with the same vigour as any genuine species, roll on the next one!

Correction: The PB hybrid reported recently as 4-2-3 was a was actually 4-0-3


  1. My list of canal hybrids is about as long but not nearly so heavy, George. Quite a few roach x bream up to 2lbs 8oz or so and a single rudd x bream just short of three pounds. Getting them over four pounds though, that's remarkable considering the bream rarely reach the same weight.

    I don't fish the Oxford nearly as much as the Coventry Canal, but it does seem to produce larger fish when I do. What's odd is how long you had to fish to break through the usual run of sizes and then in the past months your stamp across all species and their mules increased by such a degree.

  2. I fish a small lake in Norfolk and am amazed at all the rudd/roach/bream combos there are! Did find a roach/chub hjybrid dead at Aberton Reservoir once