Category Archives: Fish Species

The butterfish: a rock pool handful

The butterfish, a small species rarely exceeding 25cm (10in) in length, has a narrow, slender eel-like body. Its real name is in fact the gunnel, from the Latin Pholis gunnellus — but because of its incredibly slimy, mucus-covered skin it has been dubbed the butterfish. Its dorsal fin runs from the back of its headContinue Reading

Carp rustling

A rogue angler who catches a specimen, puts it in a tank and takes it to a water where he knows he’ll get a few hundred pounds for it from an unscrupulous stockist who isn’t too choosy about the origin of his fish. Tragically, stealing carp is becoming much more calculated and, in some cases,Continue Reading

How to land carp safely

Landing carp safely is all about patience and care. Anglers who chase fish with the net may knock them off the hook. So it’s essential to wait until the fish’s head is above the water before attempting to net it. Mick draws the carp over the net and lifts it clear. It’s a plump mirrorContinue Reading

Fish on the defensive

In order to survive long enough to reproduce, many of Britain’s small freshwater fish have adopted a variety of strategies to avoid being eaten by such predators as pike. The best option open to them is to be cunning because their swimming speed is restricted by their size. The dark bars on the perch’s bodyContinue Reading

Confident carping

Most carp anglers today use 20-30cm  (8-12in) long hook links, with anti-ject hair rigs and semi-fixed or fixed leads. ‘his arrangement relies on the fish sucking a the hookbait and moving a few centime-res, whereupon the heavy weight pulls the took into the carp’s lip. In most everyday carp angling situations this is probably oneContinue Reading

The cost of commercial salmon farming

For thousands of years Atlantic salmon ran freely through the rivers of the British Isles from the Thames to the remotest Scottish burn. Of course, the fish had its natural enemies – seals and sharks at sea and birds of prey and otters inland — out one predator, above all, effectively decimated its numbers inContinue Reading

Mudflats, maddies and flatfish in Essex

At about half tide, there’s perhaps 90cm (3ft) of water covering the flats within easy casting range. It may not be much water but it’s more than enough for the flounders to feed in. Low tide at Mucking Creek leaves the hannel clearly exposed. The walkway to the channel is for boat launching but it’sContinue Reading

The basking shark – a gentle giant

There are several varieties of basking shark throughout the world but only one species — Cetorhinus maximus — occurs in British waters. The basking shark is the world’s second largest fish (the whale shark is the largest), growing up to 15m (50ft) long and weighing up to 5 tons (5080kg). The name basking comes fromContinue Reading

Paul Canning at Bewl Water in Kent

Dry fly fishing from a moving boat is a truly visual method of taking trout in the reservoirs of southern England — more especially if you’re targeting individual fish. But the ticket price to this entertaining style of fishing is expensive: you need many skills to catch regularly. First you have to spot the troutContinue Reading

Winter rewards – cod from the shore

Catching shore cod is no longer just a matter of going down to any old beach at the weekend and slinging a bait out -although that is how many anglers still approach it. Nowadays, with cod stocks at a premium, you simply have to be in the right place at the right time. A basicContinue Reading

Filed Under: Cod