The Freshwater Goby is one of the few fish that have been awarded its own monument. He has erected a monument “Birder goby” in Ukraine in the city of Berdyansk and a meter-long sculpture “Goby King of the Sea of Azov” in the center of Yeisk.
The inhabitants of the Azov coast love the freshwater Goby, and how not to love it, if thanks to this small fish, they were saving themselves from hunger during the difficult years of the Great Patriotic War.
General Information About Freshwater Goby Fish
Goby, coastal, bottom, fish of the goby family, the order of perciforms. Goby is one of the most numerous families, consisting of more than 200 genera and about 2000 species.
In Russia and the CIS countries, there are about 30 species of them, and most of them inhabit the warm seas of our country: The Black, Caspian, and Azov. Many belong to relict species that have been living since the times when the Black Sea was called the Pontic Sea and was connected to the Caspian Sea.
They can easily tolerate changes in water salinity and are able to live in fresh and salty environments. There are about 5 – 6 species of them, those that have moved from sea areas to the mouths and lower reaches of rivers flowing into them. Some even climbed high upstream, through tributaries and a system of small rivers migrated to other waterways, settling at a great distance from their native shores.
Goby Species Migration
Thus, some species of gobies migrated to the rivers of Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and other countries adjacent to these seas.
The smallest gobies are 2.5 cm long, the largest ones are 40 cm. The life expectancy of most of them is 3 – 5 Years, in some species up to 8 years. They spawn from the beginning of spring to the end of summer at 10° To 18° C.
The female spawns from 700 to 2500 Eggs into a nest previously arranged by the male under one of the coastal cameos, if there is no nest, mothers spawn on stones or plants. After spawning, males guard the clutch adhered to the substrate, protecting it from being eaten by other fish.
Goby Fish Origin and Size
The gobies owe their special name to their large head size and a sedentary, sedentary lifestyle. The sluggishness of the fish is explained by its lazy disposition and the fact that it firmly adheres to the stones with its pelvic fins fused into a suction cup and does not change its location once again, for fear of being thrown ashore by the sea surf.
Many people confuse the goby with the similar Amur predatory fish of the firebrand family – “Rotan”, brought to St. Petersburg by aquarists at the beginning of the twentieth century. It is even called “Rotan Goby” or “Amur Goby“, although it has nothing to do with the goby family, it also belongs to the order of perciforms.
Today Rotan lives in most of the territory of Russia and European countries. It quickly spread in different directions from St. Petersburg, thanks to its endurance and excellent adaptive abilities, allowing it to survive in the most polluted water bodies, and even come back to life after freezing.
Its high fertility contributes to a sharp increase in numbers, and in small bodies of water, it is able to completely destroy other species of fish. Because of him and other fish, very similar to our hero, the impression was that the goby is an inhabitant of the southern seas, this is everywhere and even in the northern latitudes.
The large Black Sea and Azov gobies are the objects of the fishery. And for many years they constitute the bulk of the total catch of Russian fish in the Azov-Black Sea basin.
Types of Freshwater Gobies and Guide
1) River Goby or Goby Sandpiper
Ponto Caspian relict species refers to Malak phages – animals feeding on mollusks, most often found in rivers of sizes from 7 cm to 20 cm.
The color is yellowish-brown, with a camouflage pattern in the form of darkened spots. During the mating season, males become black. The body is densely and densely covered with small scales, noticeable both on the occipital region of the head and on some parts of the gill covers. The mouth has tapered teeth.
The natural habitat is the Marmara, Black, Caspian, and Azov seas, found in rivers flowing into them. Lives on the sandy bottom of the coastal zone, in burrows or shelters made of sunken objects (boxes, tires, boots, etc.). The diet includes mollusks, crustaceans, sea and earthworms, amphipods, juveniles, and small individuals of their own species.
2) Goby Is A Martovik
It is a freshwater Goby – a Whip or a Toad. Lives everywhere in the Black and Azov seas and in the mouths of rivers flowing into them. The largest species, its maximum size reaches 40 cm and weighs 600 grams. In the catches of fishermen, it often comes across up to 25 cm – 30 cm, with a weight of up to 350 – 400 g. The color is yellowish-brown, similar to a sandpiper goby.
It is a predatory, commercial fish. It watches over prey in ambush, while it can slightly change skin color, disguising itself as the environment. Also, It feeds on juvenile fish, small fish, and fish caviar, and its relatives are suitable in size and Live up to 7 years.
A more cold-loving species spawn in March at 10° C, which is why it was named “martovik”. In the catches of amateur fishermen, of all gobies. The whip is considered the most desirable, as it has very tasty meat and is large in size.
On the coast, it is caught in different ways, while using all kinds of devices and tackles. He takes well worms, pieces of mussels, the meat of congeners and other fish, shrimp, and other bait. Sometimes he falls for the silicone lures of spinning fishing, and very large specimens become the target of spearfishing.
3) Goby Is A Messenger Or Gray Grandmother
It belongs to the small-numbered species of the genus Babka living in fresh and brackish waters of the lower reaches and estuaries of the Black Sea and Azov basins.
It has, like all goby, two dorsal fins, in which there are, in total, 8 spiny rays and 14 soft ones, an oblong round body tapering towards the tail. The color is gray with a greenish tint, camouflaged with darkened transverse stripes and spots. The mouth has tiny teeth, the jaws are the same, and the snout is round.
The eyes are large, close together at the top of the head. The length of the body can reach 26 cm, on average in the catches of fishermen 15 – 18 cm. It spawns in shallow water at a temperature of 12° – 14° C. Experts believe that the messenger goby very quickly expands its habitat.
It was first discovered at a great distance from the sea in 1997 in the Pripyat River. And by now has reached Austria along the Danube. And even managed to penetrate through the system of rivers and canals from the Dnieper into the river, Vistula. These goby species are found in separate river arteries of Georgia and Bulgaria.
He is a long-time resident of the Taganrog Bay of the Azov Sea. And also lives in the Don, Northern Donets, and Aksai. It feeds on small fish, mollusks, crustaceans, and worms.
4) Goby Tsutsik Or Marble Blunt (Nosed)
Small fish does not exceed 7 cm -12 cm and weigh 30 g. Russia inhabits the waters of the Caspian and Azov basins. Numerous in the lower reaches of the Volga occur as a migrant in its upper and central reaches, as well as in reservoirs.
A distinctive feature of this type is the nasal openings rolled into small tubes and hanging over the upper lip in the form of antennae. The head is high, the forehead is narrow, and the diameter of one eye is greater than the width of the forehead.
The mouth is semi-lower, the jaws are almost identical, and the snout is blunt with dark spots on the sides. The scales on the body have a brown color with a gray tint; across the body, there are 5-6 indistinct, in places abrupt, dark stripes. During spawning, the color of males becomes darker. And an orange edging appears on the edges of the pectoral and dorsal fins.
It leads a benthic life and prefers coastal areas with thickets. It feeds on benthos – small organisms living on the bottom. In addition, in the stomach, among undigested food, there are remains of small fish, aquatic plants, and detritus.
5) Round Goby
Its body length from 15 cm to about 27 cm, weighs up to 270 g. It has an external resemblance to the previous species. It differs in the small size of the mouth of the final shape and a clear dark spot on the edge of the dorsal fin. Coloring from grayish-beige to dark brown and even black.
The habitat is considered to be the Black Sea – Azov and Caspian basins. Can live in non-salty water and enter the upper reaches of rivers. He even managed to get to the Moscow river and the Baltic. Together with water used as ballast, he was accidentally resettled from Eurasia to North America. Becoming an inhabitant of the Great Lakes.
Other species of freshwater gobies either do not enter freshwaters at all: bighead, herbalist, Surman, lynx, etc. Or are rare – endangered species listed in the Red Book: Paganel goby, Bukchich goby, etc.
Catching Freshwater Goby Is a Very Exciting Activity
Catching gobies is as simple as fishing for perches and ruffs, many anglers do not consider it serious. But despite this, it gives everyone great pleasure, especially after a long bite of large fish. So – as gobies live in the coastal zone, they are looked for and caught not far from the coast, on a rocky bottom, or on the ground covered with shell rock.
Although the goby is a small fish, it bites quite strongly and confidently, which makes anglers very happy. In addition, the meat of this big-headed fish is extremely tasty in any form. Especially good from her ear and her dried carcasses.
A freshwater goby is caught from the shore and from the water with the help of a floating craft. Both with a float and a bottom fishing rod. There are no special requirements for gear. As bait, use worms, leeches, bloodworms, and small pieces: bovine heart, mussel meat, snails, frozen or caught fish; insects, and their larvae. The bait is lowered to the very bottom and periodically the tackle is twitched or pulled up so that the bait does not lie in one place and looks mobile.
For catching a freshwater goby with a bottom line, you can use almost any rod with guides and a reel holder. It is better to take a reel without inertia, the simplest, with any gear ratio.
Tackle usual – bottom: fixed 15-20 g weight (in marine conditions it is possible to weigh the -30-40 grams) at the end of the mainline, from slightly above it – at a distance of 40- 50 cm bypass leash length of 18-20 cm with hook No. 6 PH with a long forend, followed by the next one at a distance of 30 cm, or you can leave one hook, so it is more interesting.
It is not worth setting more than two hooks, this is no longer fishing, but fishing. Leashes can be knitted directly to the line using a special knot or through triple swivels.
To signal a bite, you can use a bell or an electronic signaling device, or any other device, in any case, if the relic horror story bites, then there will not be anywhere from the hook. The big-headed hermit has a big mouth and he bites very greedily, for fear of missing the bait, he does not stand on ceremony for a long time, so there is almost no getting off the hook, and this “beast” swallows a small hook so that it is impossible to remove it without surgery.
It is very interesting and reckless to catch a freshwater goby on a micro jig with an ultra-light spinning rod with appropriate equipment: braid 0.12 mm or monoline 0.18 mm, miniature silicone baits – 2.5 cm -3 cm, and light small ones – 2 g – 6 g jig heads.
Have questions? Do not hesitate to ask in the comments, the form of which is located under the article. Good day and good luck fishing.