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Black Sea Bream, Spondyliosoma cantharus

Irish Record Fish: not recognised
Caught: not recognised
Boat Specimen: not recognised
Shore Specimen: not recognised
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Introduction: The Black Sea Bream is reported occassionally off our southern coasts particularly on the inshore marks. It can reach reach over 4 kilos (10 lbs), but anything over 1 kilo (2 lbs) is an exceptional fish in Irish waters.  It will be very familiar to fishermen from the UK's south coast & Channel Islands, and is reknowned for its fighting qualities.  Many of the UK's south coast boats run competitions focusing solely on Black Sea Bream, such is their 'bottle'.  They are also very tasty fish to eat.

Boat tactics: Black Sea Bream are caught in Ireland largely by accident, usually on offshore reefs marks late in the summer and well into the autumn.  They seem to have a particular liking for mackerel strip, squid and worms fished on a long trace on the drift over a mark, offered on hooks around the 1/0 mark.  You will need a strong hook as these are game fish, renowned for their fighting qualities.  Light boat tackle offers great sport with the Black Sea Bream... the only difficulty seems to be in locating the fish! 

Shore tactics: We have no confirmed captures from the shore in Ireland however several reports emerged in 2003 from Wexford in particular about black or "silver" bream being caught from the shore.  The first is from JD who says that a black bream was taken from the "safe" (reclaimed land) mark at Rosslare during the summer and the second comes from a local angler in Kilmore Quay, fishing the small strand to the east of the harbour at high tide, who took six fish, three per session in September and October on lugworm that was targeting bass. We have also had another unconfirmed report of a similar fish being caught in the rocky margin outside a Co. Wicklow harbour. Several fish reported by skippers operating from Kilmore Quay also. Try anywhere on the south east corner, Wicklo, Wexford and Waterford, right around to Cork, say from July to October or later.