Bream and its relatives

Breams, it's dripping, sometimes, the strips and certificates form one great clan. Of course, bream are in power, because they reach the largest size. Georg Alexander looked closely at the entire bream family.

Head in mule, tail up – this is the typical "stance" of an intensely foraging bream.

What a spectacle it was. As if the water was boiling. Dark tail fins scratched the surface furiously, dozens of heavily protruding fish swarmed in the shallow bay at the very end of the lake. To, what at first glance appeared to be a total panic of the shoal of fish in the net shed, in fact it was an intense love game in the last rays of the setting sun. The shoal of bream is fully spawning. These fish engage in a love game this way, that you can hear them from far away. Bream are very prolific. An adult female lays within a year from 200 000 into 300 000 roe grains. Bream larvae hatch just a few days after fertilization and initially hide among the aquatic vegetation growing in the coastal shallows. Only after almost two years, young bream begin to resemble adult specimens. All fish are over 14 cm already have a pronounced lateral flattening of the body. Sizes, to which bream grow depends to a large extent on environmental conditions, the type of food and the food competition in a given reservoir or river. Rekordowy leszcz to ryba o masie 6,85 Kg, length 79,0 cm caught in 1985 year in a limestone lake by Zdzisław Szczęsny. However, such large fish are rare.

Good individuals

Adult individuals weighing approx 3-4 kg is already found in our lakes and rivers much more often. These are powerful "pans" about 1 inch long 60 Cm. There are many such reservoirs in Europe, in which anglers regularly catch such specimens (especially in summer).

Our bream, called Abramis bram by biologists in Latin, lives mainly in the waters of Central and Eastern Europe. These fish do best in slow-flowing rivers and in lakes that are rich in natural food, north of the Alps and the Pyrenees.. They are also abundant in the waters of Sweden and Finland. Irish anglers, and probably even more English, they highly appreciate catching these fish. In the East, the bream range ends there, where Europe also ends – in the Urals, The Caspian and Aral Sea. Breams, otherwise, that they are very fertile, they are also more or less related to many species of quiet feeding fish.

They belong systematically to the family of carp fish, which is widely distributed all over the world (Cyprinidae). A characteristic feature of fish from this very numerous family, represented by approx 2000 different species of fish, is the presence of pharyngeal teeth on the fifth gill arch. There are exactly thirty species of carp fish in Poland (carp and all white fish). And by the way - the cyprinids swim bladder connects to the middle ear, therefore these fish are endowed with perfect hearing.
Some time ago they noticed, that "dentition patterns" (we are talking all the time about pharyngeal teeth) The silver bream and the fish of the genus Abramis are different too, so that you can talk about a close relationship. Information relevant only to dentists and specialists, who probably know it well anyway: bream, the splints and saps have five single-row pharyngeal teeth (5-5), while the pharyngeal teeth are arranged in two rows (2-5, 5-2). The silver bream is therefore a completely separate species of white fish. However, this does not change the fact, that they are the food competitor of bream, because they occupy the same ecological niche.

Gloss difference

– I have no idea if it is a bream, or skim. I don't see any shine – the angler rookie wonders aloud. -Excuse me, take a closer look. You can see the shine and yes, that it stings the eyes. Just look at this fish's pectoral fins. You see that reddish tinge? This one, that's the best proof of that, that you have caught silverfish - the answer of an experienced angler is calm and very matter-of-fact.
And actually, The coloring of the fins is one of the surest ways to distinguish the bream from the silver bream. No bream fin ever has a red sheen. If you can see even the slightest reddish sheen on the pectoral or belly fins of the caught fish, it is definitely a skimmer.

If all the fins are dark gray, it is undoubtedly a bream. An even more certain way to distinguish between the two species is the size of the eyeballs. It is true that the silverfish are not "big-eyed" fish, however, the diameter of their eyeballs is always greater than the "length" of the closed mouth when viewed from the side. In bream the mouth is always larger than the eye. Bream rubs in exactly the same way as bream – in large groups, in shallow, areas with aquatic vegetation near the shore.

For many anglers, the silver bream is an ordinary weed – not enough, that small, it's still very bony. However, these fish are quite attractive prey when fishing from ice, when in the middle of winter the perch no longer wants to catch, and the roaches had not yet revived before spring was approaching. A close relative of the bream is undoubtedly the sapa. This fish can be safely called a younger sister from Eastern Europe, because it rarely ever grows up to 35 cm and a weight of more than half a kilogram. The homeland of this weak relative of the bream is the waters flowing into the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. Rather, Saps are river fish, sometimes they can also be found in the Danube and its tributaries. Not so long ago, they were a very numerous species of fish. They can be distinguished from small bream by the exceptionally long anal fin. In addition, the sapa's caudal fin is asymmetrical. Looking at it a bit more closely you can see clearly, that the lower part of the caudal fin is longer than the upper part.

Northern struts

– Weren't such fish already caught in the Elbe?? – some anglers living in the north of Germany are asking. – No, They were definitely not saps, but the springs – is the answer.

Controversy (Abramis ballerus) is another species of fish closely related to the bream. These fish are found in two large areas: northern (in the lower stretches of large rivers and in lakes, from northern Germany, through Poland, all the way to Estonia) and the south (in the rivers of the Black Sea and Caspian catchment areas). Previously, struts were also present on a massive scale in the Danube. From bream and sap they differ in this, that their mouth is slightly upward. Unlike other species of the genus Abramis, the springs generally stick to open water, in which they hunt daphnia and other small invertebrates. The struts grow very slowly. Long fish 30 centimeters is at least ten years old.

Another species related to bream are the certificates. The Latin name cert used to be Abramis vimba and it was considered a species closely related to bream, sapami and rozpiórami. With time, however, ichthyobiologists came to different conclusions and today, the official Latin name of the certificate is Vimba vimba. Certa differs from the bream mainly by its slender silhouette and its horizontal mouth (in the lower position). Consequently, it is almost impossible to confuse a certificate with a bream, while with the piggy, of course. The relationship with the bream and the bream is manifested, inter alia, by the similar length of the anal fins of these fish.

Slim certificates

Certa differs from the fish of the genus Abramis also in this, that it has a ridge on the line, from the tip of the head to the root of the dorsal fin, a narrow strip completely devoid of scales. A similar streak also appears on the belly line (from the pelvic fins). This detail and the different positioning of pelvic fins were sufficient reasons for scientists, to change the "labeling" of the certificate. It is so, that the systematics of fish is very "fluid" and there are always some changes in it following new scientific discoveries.

Unlike struts and sap, the certificates have many fans among anglers. These fish grow up to 2 kg and can measure over 50 Cm. Certyficates are typical benthic fish. They can be caught in most large rivers in Central Europe and in some lakes. Unfortunately, the stock of these fish is declining at an alarming rate every year.

In the pre-tariff period, the certificates undertake long journeys upstream. They only rub in shallow places (from May to June). Certifications are caught, just like bream, just above the bottom, but with this difference, that for much more delicate equipment.

Predatory bream

Big bream take best in summer. On hot days, cunning anglers go out for a beer first, and they do not appear above the water until evening. In warm seasons, bream begin to feed intensively only when darkness falls.

The days are different, when the river heats up after heavy rainfall and carries slightly cloudy water. In such conditions, bream feed all the time and even during the day they behave like unsaturated piglets. They burrow into the bottom, they shoot a stream of water from their mouths onto the muddy bottom and wash away the food.

In lakes, intensively foraging bream reveal their presence with gas bubbles rising to the surface and slightly cloudy water at this point.. Bream are, of course, fish of peaceful feeding. Sometimes, however, they can also be successfully caught with spinning.

Large bream, especially in the early spring (right after spawning) they become predatory. The most effective artificial lures for large bream are small white twisters and spinners no 0 the 00.

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