Ruff fishing: ways to catch ruff in the Black Sea in spring and summer


All about ruff fishing

The fish is known to almost everyone. Due to its gluttony and omnipresence, it often becomes the first prey of young anglers and the by-catch of most fishermen looking for good luck in the reservoirs near the house. Despite the gluttony, the ruff is a slow grower. Sizes rarely exceed 200gr. But there are cases of catching fish about 500 gr. Ichthyologists do not distinguish subspecies, but there is a closely related species – the Don ruff (nosar or biryuk). Depending on the living conditions, it may differ in external features. In the choice of food it is very plastic, but it reacts worse to vegetable nozzles. Due to its external data, it is not a popular prey for fishermen. Very prickly and slippery, can cause discomfort if handled carelessly. At the same time, the fish is very tasty and is popular with connoisseurs. Winter fishing for a large ruff during periods of no pecking can bring many pleasant moments. It is considered a demersal fish, but can also take baits in the water column.

Ruff fishing methods

Catch on simple gear. For all types of bottom, wiring, winter gear, most often for animal baits. It is often caught as a by-catch while angling other fish. It often bites very confidently, while swallowing the hook, which creates a lot of trouble for the angler. A small ruff often pulls the bait, which bothers the regulars of suburban reservoirs. But the capture of ruffs and minnows brings a lot of joy to young fishermen. 

Catching ruff on float gear

Ruff is an exclusively bottom fish. When fishing on float gear, it is imperative to take into account such a moment that the nozzle must be dragged along the bottom. Most often, in rivers, ruff is caught in pits and bottom depressions. Complex and expensive gear is not needed. A light rod, a simple float, a piece of fishing line and a set of sinkers and hooks are quite enough. In the case of frequent hooks, a thinner leash can be used. Ruff responds well to bait in the form of a bloodworm or chopped worm. This applies to all types of fishing.

Catching ruff on the bottom gear

Ruff, along with the gudgeon, is the first to please the fishermen with their catch after the spring ice drift. For fishing, they use ordinary hooks, donks made from “long-cast” rods, as well as “half-donks”. “Poludonka” – the usual float tackle, in which the float is shifted almost to the tip of the rod, sometimes slightly increasing the weight of the sinkers. Due to the small weight of the sinker, the bait can be carried away by the current of the river, but this does not prevent the ruff from pecking sometimes near the shore. Ruff is often caught as bycatch on various sports gear such as feeder or picker.

Catching ruff on winter gear

Ruffs are caught using traditional jigging and float winter rigs. Fish respond better to tackle with a bait. As already mentioned, a small ruff can annoy with “empty” bites. During the period of “backwoods” on the river, ruff fishing can be very successful and exciting. To do this, you can choose the following tactics: find a coastal line with a water depth of no more than 15 cm, carefully drill and, with the utmost care, catch very small mormyshkas in the tent. Along with the perch, a fairly large ruff is caught.


In most cases, the ruff prefers animal attachments, such as larvae of underwater invertebrates, worms, and so on. It is noted that during the zhora, the fish can react to vegetable baits, if they contain salt and fats. Ruff bites poorly on maggot and other white baits. It is also worth feeding him with a bloodworm, chopped worm or tubifex.

Places of fishing and habitat

Widespread view. Lives in almost all of Europe and throughout North Asia. Conventionally, the boundary of the range can be drawn along the sources of the rivers of the Arctic Ocean basin. Not in the Amur and Chukotka. The fish tend to go deep. Leads a bottom way of life. In addition, it avoids illuminated sections of the river. Its accumulations occur in pits, near hydraulic structures or shaded coastal edges. Can live in flowing ponds and lakes. It is a favorite food for zander and burbot. It leads a twilight lifestyle, which is probably why it is more active in winter.


It becomes sexually mature at 2-4 years of age. Spawns in April-June. Spawning takes place on sandy or rocky ground, sometimes on vegetation, in portions, therefore it is stretched over time.

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