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Couch's Bream, Pagrus pagrus

Irish Record Fish: not recognised
Caught: not recognised
Boat Specimen: not recognised
Shore Specimen: not recognised
Photo Credit:

Cambraia Duarte, P.M.N.  

Introduction: Also known as the Common Sea Bream, this small fish was reported caught by none other than Arthur Gent, confirmed by the skipper Niall Doherty, on our own forum in over 30 metres of water (114') when fishing over the Laurentic wreck in Donegal in August 2003. The fish can reach reach > 10 lbs (4kgs), but very few have been reported, with the bulk coming from the UK's south coast & Channel Islands.  All Sea Bream are reknowned for their fighting ability.  Fishbase reports that it usually inhabits between 150 and 250 metres deep but can venture up to the continental shelf... It is listed as an endangered species.

Boat tactics: Try imitating Arthur's rig, a double dropper (wishbone?) with 2/0 hooks baited with ragworm.  Originally intended for wrasse, which score high in their weekly competition up there, the only further comment we have was that it was on a long flowing trace.

Shore tactics: We have yet to see one reported caught from the shore in Ireland.

Warning: although it is fished for commercially further south, all the way to Brazil, it is known to display ciguatera poisoning, i.e. poisoning of the diner from toxins built up in the flesh of the fish from its feeding on certain types of algae.