Mighty brace of minnows includes 12.8 gr catch

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The Surrey-based angler tackled a secret river just before the end of the river fishing season, and used stick float and maggot.

His fish won him a weekly Korum Specimen Cup award in Angler’s Mail magazine.

Mark was not far off the British minnow record of 13.5 drams set in 1998 at Whitworth Lake in County Durham. That catch still sits top of the BRFC list – although it’s very likely many bigger minnows have been caught and their significance never truly realised.

Most common little ‘uns

There’s a lot more to the world of minnows than you may realise.

Three years ago the first ever mini fish report was published – and it revealed minnows are the ‘most common tiddler’ in British freshwaters.

Underwater and wildlife photographer Jack Perks took on the survey and  revealed figures after surveying anglers, Environment Agency officers and ecologists.

Minnows pulled a 59.8 per cent response, bullheads a fraction behind on 58.7, bleak 42.4, stone loach 35.9, ruffe 32.6, silver bream 26.1, stickleback 17.4 and joint last spined loach and bitterling on 2.2.

Fascinating fish

Although taken for granted, or viewed as a pest by experienced coarse anglers, minnows are fascinating fish.

The smaller fish in the subfamily Leuciscinae are considered to be “true” minnows. And there are many varieties around the world. The type caught in Britain has the Latin name Phoxinus phoxinus.

Small fish fan Dr Mark Everard, said: “I simply love the little fishes of our rivers and ponds. It’s a shame that they are so overlooked and underappreciated. They are truly beautiful and fascinating, not to mention being a fun way to get up close and personal with wildlife.

“Minnows, for example, become some of the most colourful fishes in the world… literally! Male fish deepen in hue to emeralds and golds, brilliant scarlet underneath with white fin bases, and develop a jewellery of white nodules over their heads and fins to aid spawning,” added Wiltshire-based Mark, who wrote The Little Book of Little Fishes.

Other sorts of minnow in other parts of the world include:

Cheat minnow, a species in the genus Pararhinichthys
Cutlips minnow, a species in the genus Exoglossum
Desert minnows, fishes in the genus Dionda
Fathead minnow (rosy-red minnow), a species in the genus Pimephales
Loach minnow, a species of the genus Rhinichthys
Short levered minnow, a species of the genus Minnellinus
Pikeminnows, fishes in the genus Ptychocheilus
Pugnose minnows, fishes in the genus Opsopoeodus
Silverjaw minnow, a species in the genus Notropis
Longjaw minnow, a species in the genus Ericymba
Silvery minnows, fishes in the genus Hybognathus
Suckermouth minnows, fishes in the genus Phenacobius
Vietnamese cardinal minnow, a species in the genus Tanichthys
White Cloud Mountain minnow, a species in the genus Tanichthys