Garfish (Belone belone)
Big rod-caught garfish can weigh 0.90 Kg (2 lbs) or more. The average garfish weighs around 455 g (1 lb).
ALSO KNOWN AS
Sea Pike, Needlefish and Garpike
The garfish looks like a cross between an eel and a long-beaked bird; it has a long, slender body which is laterally compressed and blue-green in colour ontop with silver sides and belly. It has a distinct sword-like beak which is equipped with rows of small, sharp teeth.
The pectoral, dorsal and anal fins are all found towards the tail end of its body and its lateral line is particularly low on the flanks. The garfish is closely related to the flying fish and so occupies the area close to the surface and can often be seen leaping from the sea.
Yellow Gurnard (Trigla lucerna)
Grey Gurnard (Eutrigla gurnardus)
Red Gurnard (Aspitrigla cuculus)
The yellow gurnard is the largest, big rod-caught yellow gurnards can weigh 3.62 Kg (8 lbs) or more. The average yellow gurnard weighs about 1 Kg (2¼ lbs).
The average grey gurnard weighs around 230 g (½ lb) and the average red gurnard weighs around 454 g (1 lb).
ALSO KNOWN AS
Another name for the yellow gurnard is Tubfish.
All three gurnards have elongated, tubular bodies with long pectoral and anal fins, they have two dorsal fins, the first is large and triangular in shape with the second being much smaller and longer in comparison. The skull is made from solid bony plates; as such the head is pronounced and hard. Under the chin are small appendages which are used to sense and find food and four sharp spines protrude from the pectoral fins.
The yellow gurnard is the both the largest gurnard species and the most colourful, they commonly possess a glorious yellow colour but can also be deep red or orange, they have a white belly and their pectoral fins are edged by bright blue-bands, the presence of these bright blue bands are the easiest way to identify a yellow gurnard from the other gurnard species.
The grey gurnard is the most common gurnard species in British waters and also the smallest, with shore-caught grey gurnards usually weighing under a 500g (1 lb). The grey gurnard possesses the typical gurnard shape and is generally dark grey in colour on the back and sides with a light grey belly. Compared to the other gurnard species it has the smallest pectoral fins and its lateral line comprises of thorny scales.
The red gurnard is the middle weight of the three gurnard species, a red gurnard approaching 700g (1.5 lbs) would be a great catch. They have the typical gurnard body shape and are red in colour however some can have a brown colour instead. The red gurnard is often confused for the yellow gurnard, the pectoral fins are the main way to differentiate the two, if blue bands are present you have a yellow gurnard, no blue bands and you have yourself a red gurnard.
Tompot Blenny (Parablennius gattorugine)
Size: up to 10ins in length
UK minimum size: 8ins/20cm
UK shore caught record: 5oz 8dr
Small fish with large head with eyes located at the top. Prominent pectoral fins and tapering body with continuous dorsal fin with small spines at front. Two strange protruding tentacles above eyes. Alternating dark and light stripes down flanks. Both dorsal fins are long, the first is also quite spiny.
Red Band Fish
Scientific name: Cepola macrophthalma
Also known as: Ribbonfish, Red Snakefish, Red Ribbandfish
Size: Up to 80cm, although typically around 30cm
UK shore caught record: 7oz 2dr
Eel-like fish with an elongated and very slender tapering body. Large eyes and mouth is full of small, sharp teeth. Long dorsal fin runs the entire length of the body and has a dark mark near the front. The anal fin is only slightly shorter then the dorsal fin. Body terminates in a very small tail fin. Colour is a reddish to pink or occasionally orange on the upper flanks, fading to a paler pinkish on the underside.