ROUND FISH

NAME

Cod (Gadus morhua)

AVERAGE WEIGHT

Big rod-caught cod can weigh 14.50 Kg (32 lbs) or more. The average cod weighs around 5.45 Kg (12 lbs).

ALSO KNOWN AS

Codling and Atlantic Cod

APPEARANCE

The cod has a large head with a bulky, brown-green or olive-green body which can be flecked across the sides and back, the area that the cod has lived in affects its colour, with weedy areas giving a brownish colour. The upper jaw overhangs and there is a projecting barbule on its chin. It has a sizeable mouth with small sharp teeth.

NAME

Black Bream (Spondyliosoma cantharus)

AVERAGE WEIGHT

Big rod-caught black bream can weigh 2.25 Kg (5 lbs) or more. The average black bream weighs around 0.70 Kg (1½lbs).

ALSO KNOWN AS

Porgy or Seabream

APPEARANCE

The black bream is identifiable by its thin, oval-shaped body with a purple-grey back and silver-grey sides. It has characteristically dark, broad vertical lines across its sides and dark spots on both its dorsal and anal fins. It has a single, long dorsal fin with ten or eleven sharp, short spines and also a small anal fin and forked tail. The black bream’s jaws are equipped with 4-6 rows of thin teeth which are larger at the front. It is commonly found in schools feeding on seaweeds and is typically no bigger than 60 cm in length.

Warning: Avoid the dorsal spines when unhooking black bream as they are particularly sharp.

NAME

Whiting (Merlangius merlangus)

AVERAGE WEIGHT

Big rod-caught whiting can weigh 1.4 Kg (3 lbs) or more. The average whiting weighs around 0.5 Kg (1 lb).

APPEARANCE

The whiting has a large and pointed head, its upper jaw extends slightly further than the lower and it can have a very small barbel on its chin. It has a slim body which is gold-green on the back and silver-white on the sides with a silver underbelly, it also has three dorsal fins, two anal fins and a characteristic black spot close to the base of each pectoral fin. In its mouth are small but sharp teeth and it also has a high lateral line which bends towards its head.

Warning: Bites from whiting are known to result in infections – handle with care!

NAME

Bass (Dicentrachus labrax)

AVERAGE WEIGHT

Big rod-caught bass can weigh up to 6.35 Kg (14 lbs) or more. The average bass weighs around 2.25 Kg (5 lbs).

ALSO KNOWN AS

Seabass, mediterranean seabass or sea dace.

APPEARANCE

The bass is a commonly caught fish in British waters; it has silvery sides, a blue-grey back and a cream/white belly. It has two distinct fins, the first with 9 spines and the second with 13 spines. It also has a large mouth armed with sharp teeth. Warning: Keep your hands clear of the dorsal spines as they can be sharp.

NAME

Scad

Scientific name: Trachurus trachurus

AVERAGE WEIGHT

Size: Up to 18ins and 3lb. UK shore caught usually under 12ins and 1lb.

UK minimum size: 25cm/10inches

ALSO KNOWN AS

Horse Mackerel, Atlantic Horse Mackerel, Common Scad

APPEARANCE

Streamlined silvery body, with green/grey back. Two dorsal fins, first of which is tall and spined, the second is longer and flatter, as is the anal fin. Tail is deeply forked. Unusual scaly lateral line which runs all the way from the tail to the gills and curves upwards over the large pectoral fin. Large eyes and black mark on gill cover.

NAME

Ballan Wrasse (Labrus bergylta)

AVERAGE WEIGHT

Big rod-caught ballan wrasse can weigh 2.7 Kg (6 lbs) or more. The average ballan wrasse weighs around 1 Kg (2¼ lbs).

APPEARANCE

Ballan Wrasse: The ballan wrasse is a sturdy fish with a thick body which is green or red/rust brown in colour; it can sometimes be tinted blue and has a pleasant pattern with a pale underbelly. The ballan wrasse also has a single dorsal fin which is present across its entire body and has a broad tail fin. It also has powerful jaws armed with small teeth.

NAME

Cuckoo Wrasse (Labrus mixtus)

AVERAGE WEIGHT

Big rod-caught cuckoo wrasse can weigh 0.55 Kg (1¼ lbs) or more. The average cuckoo wrasse weighs around 227 g (½ lb).

APPEARANCE

Cuckoo Wrasse:  The cuckoo wrasse is not as broad or as long as its bigger brother and therefore weighs much less on average. It is also one of the most colourful fish in British waters, male cuckoo wrasse have brilliant blue backs with orange-gold sides whilst females have a vivid pink-red body and black spots across their backs. The cuckoo wrasse has one long dorsal fin and a broad tail, although it is much smaller in total than the ballan wrasse.

NAME

Pout

Scientific name: Trisopterus luscus

AVERAGE WEIGHT

Up to 2ft and over 5lb. UK shore caught typically 8oz-1lb.

UK minimum size: 8ins/20cm

UK shore caught record: 4lb 9oz

APPEARANCE

Small fish with a high, rounded body. Three dorsal fins are present, the first of which is high and triangular. Prominent barbule on chin and small black spot at the start of the pectoral fin. Back is usually brownish to orangey/copper in colour and underbelly is pale. Bars or thick stripes can sometimes be found running down the flanks of this species, although these fade once the fish is out of the water for any amount of time.

NAME

Red Mullet

Scientific name: Mullus surmuletus

Also know as: Striped Mullet, Goatfish

AVERAGE WEIGHT

Up to 18ins and 4lbs.

UK minimum size: 8ins/20cm

UK shore caught record: 3lb 15oz

APPEARANCE

Steeply sloping head and large eyes. Two dorsal fins, the first of which is quite spiny. They have a tapering body streaked with red and sometimes yellow lines on the back and upper flanks fading to pale on the underside. There are two long sensory barbels protruding from underneath the head. Tail is deeply forked and can, along with the fins, have a yellowish tinge.

NAME

Pollock

Scientific name: Pollachius pollachius

AVERAGE WEIGHT

Up to 3ft and 20lbs (UK shore caught typically 1-5lbs)

UK minimum size: 12inches (30cm) in length

UK shore caught record: 18lb 4oz

APPEARANCE

Lower jaw protrudes noticeably and the there is no barbel on the chin. Flanks are brown to greenish grey, although pollock from some areas have a coppery colour which can be very bright, especially when a fish has just been removed from the water. Lateral line is high and curves upwards. As a member of the cod family the pollock has three dorsal fins.

NAME

Allis Shad

Scientific names: Alosa alosa and Alosa fallax

AVERAGE WEIGHT

Up to 20ins/50cm in length and 4lb. UK shore caught typically 25cm and 2lbs.

UK minimum size: N/a – See below.

UK shore caught record: Allis Shad 4lb 120z / Twaite Shad 2lb 12oz [UK record currently suspended due to Endangered status].

APPEARANCE

Small, herring like fish. Single dorsal fin and deeply forked tail. Silvery appearance which can be darker on the back and fins. Scales are loose and very large. Spot pattern runs along flanks from gill covers, although this varies vastly between individual fish – in some fish fifteen spots can run all the way to the tail, in others the spots can be absent altogether.

RAYS
KAYAK FISHING
Rays caught from a kayak in UK waters
ROUND FISH
KAYAK FISHING
Round fish caught from a kayak in UK waters
EELS
KAYAK FISHING
Eels caught from a kayak in UK waters
FLATFISH
KAYAK FISHING
Flatfish caught from a kayak in UK waters
SHARKS
KAYAK FISHING
Sharks caught from a kayak in UK waters
SMALL FISH
KAYAK FISHING
Small fish caught from a kayak in UK waters
OTHER
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