Pollack or Coalfish

Every now and then you see confusion on social media between pollack & coalfish. The smaller specimens in particular are sometimes confused when their colours are similar.  Pollack and Coalfish prefer rock and weed covered ground. The bigger specimens frequenting the many sunken wrecks in deep seas. Pollack is another member of the cod family and is a much sought after fish by anglers fishing for the family food table. Pollack tend to be a dark brown/green colour with a white belly. Their colour though does vary slightly with local habitat. The pollack has no barbel on its chin, and […]

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Fish Identification – LS Sea Scorpion or SS Sea Scorpion

The Long and Short Spined Sea Scoprions often prove difficult to identify, especially when laid on a species card for a club or online fish species hunt. The Short Spined (Myoxocephalus scorpius) can grow over 1lb in weight, with the Long Spined (Taurulus bubalis) not reaching over 1lb. Both are fairly small fish with flat stout bodies and fairly large heads. Not the prettiest of fish, they do look prehistoric with four large spines protruding from the head. They are generally a brownish red colour, with a cream underside, but variations occur depending on habitat. Both fish are often confused […]

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Ling

Ling is a member of the much sought after cod family. The body is eel like in that it is very long and slender. Ling tend to be a very light brown in colour with a white under side. The ling has 2 dorsal and 1 anal fin. The upper jaw of a ling protrudes slightly further than its lower jaw. Adult ling can be found in depths up to 400m. They prefer areas of rocky ground, small ling can often be found in shallow rocky waters. Ling are viscous feeders and will feed on most fish species but are […]

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Wrasse Fishing 2016

We spend a fair amount of time drifting around our coastline in search of pollack, coalies, codling and my favourites when drifting inshore the various members of the wrasse family. That said, wrasse are not for everyone, mainly because they don’t make for good eating and the species we have in the UK do not exceed double figures. So what do they do, well, they put up one hell of a scrap. Ballan wrasse reach up to 5lb with us, the cuckoo wrasse are the fish thatdraw gasps from anglers with the marvelous colours they display. I don’t think 2016 […]

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Tope

Tope is the most abundant large shark native to the British Isles. They generally have a light grey top and white belly area; however some tope have been caught with a dark topside. Tope are live bearing with a normal litter size of between 6 and 30pups, usually around the 20 mark. The Welsh Record of 79lb, was caught & released aboard My Way in Aug 2005 Tope are found through out the UK, with certain areas having a greater concentration than others. The fish move inshore during the spring and summer months chasing the shoals of mackerel and herring […]

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Spurdog

The upper body of a spurdog is usually grey or a dark charcoal colour. It is covered in small white spots, it’s under-side is white. A spur is also referred to as a spiney dog, the most noticeable feature being a protruding spine at the front of each of the 2 dorsal fins. The spurdog is a slow growing shark. The females are live bearing and carry the pups for over 18months. Litter sizes vary but can be up to 20. They can be found in depths well over 500m and feed from the mid to bottom layers. This specie […]

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Wrasse Cuckoo

The cuckoo wrasse is long and slender in comparison to the ballan. it has one long dorsal fin. Mature males tend to be striking blue and reddish orange in colour. Their heads tend to be a very bright blue colour. The fins on a male cuckoo wrasse also have a blue edge to them. During mating season the brightness of the head decreases and exhibit white flashes. Female cuckoo wrasse and immature males, tend to be a pinkish colour. They have 3 dark blotches on the base of the dorsal fin. They feed predominantly on crab, mussel, shrimp and worm. […]

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Dab

The dab is brown on its topside and white underneath. The top of the dab is rough to touch when running your finger towards the head and smooth in the opposite direction. The lateral line has a strong curve from the head around the pectoral fin. Dabs are found mainly in shallow sandy areas, however can often be located over broken ground. They eat a variety of things including small crabs and fish. Dabs can be caught regular around the waters from Holyhead. Best methods are simply scratch rigs where the hooks are presented hard on the sea bed. Hooks […]

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Ray Thornback

The Thornback ray is another short snouted ray with sharp disc wing tips forming approximately right angles. The ray takes it’s name from the numerous large spines over it’s back and often also on its underside. The spines run down the length of the tail, thus they should be handled with extra care. The Thornback is generally a very dark brown colour with a small covering of large cream coloured blotches. The underside of this ray is again white. The Thornback can be found on all manner of sea beds from hard rock covered ground to soft sand and mud. […]

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Starry Smoothhound

Smoothhound have a grey upper body and white underside. Mustelus asterias takes it name from the many white spots that are found on the upper part of its body, and the common smoothhound, Mustelus mustelus having none. The starry smoothhound is ovoviviparous (Method of animal reproduction in which fertilized eggs develop within the female and the embryo gains no nutritional substances from the female) with a gestation period of up to12 months. Recorded litters for starry smoothhound have ranged between 10 and 35pups. Smoothhound are found in mainly shallow waters however they have been recorded at depths of up to […]

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