They are everywhere in salt- and freshwater – and they are active year round. Most fish have a close relationship to these small critters, and you should as well.
The small crustaceans from the family Gammaridae count more than 200 described species. That’s a lot of bugs. Some of these live in moist places under rocks on the shore, but most of the Gammarus live under water. Some species prefer freshwater, other brackish environments and some live in water so saline, that it will kill most other species.
There are several reasons why Gammarus (also known as scuds) are very important to a lot of the fish we chase. The freshwater forms of these bugs typically thrive in cold well-oxygenated waters – and share habitat with all sorts of trout, salmon, grayling, whitefish and other fish. That makes them stable food for these fish all through the season.
And since scuds reproduce like crazy and mature fast, they sure are plentiful – also in saltwater environments. According to a Danish Scientific research a single pair of these crustaceans will in 8 months be responsible for 200.000 offspring.
At rest or swimming
Traditionally Gammarus or scud imitations are tied on hooks with some kind of curve. Often a very pronounced C-shape. That makes sense. When you see these crustaceans resting, they are curved – as you can see in the photos. But when swimming, they have a nearly straight back. Still slightly curved, buy nowhere near the shape of a resting scud. Check out the photo of this saltwater gammarus speeding past my camera. Nearly a straight line.
So basically any hook design will do – and I’ve used the curved design (Ahrex NS172) on many gammarus imitations with great results. In the video of the Olive Brown Scud I tie on a hook with only a slight curve, that better imitates the profile of a fast swimming gammarus.
You can see the tying SBS right here… https://youtu.be/d5AjWk7K1W8
More gammarus blogs:
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