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Gilthead Bream, Spaurus aurata

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

Robert Patzner

Introduction: The Gilthead Bream is the second rare bream to have been caught around Ireland in 2003.  It is easily recognised by the golden bar across its forehead hence the name, however this only appears strongly on adult fish and a more reliable method of identification is a strong black spot on the gill cover and the lack of any red tinge that might mark it as a blackspot sea bream.  A juvenile fish, of 2.35 lbs or just over 1 kilogram, was taken in a small boat competition in Cork Harbour in September, oddly enough in a species hunt competition!  Interestingly it is listed as having a preference for brackish waters so inside large estuaries and harbours may prove to be the optimal locations for seeking one to add to your personal species list!  One final point, although any fish taken in Irish waters are likely to be juveniles brough here on warm water currents like the Gulf Stream, these fish have been known to reach 15 kilos or more in size!

Boat tactics: Get very lucky! Try your luck over rough ground late in the year when the water temperatures have risen to their highest.  All sea bream seem to fall mostly to a mackerel strip, squid and worms fished on a long trace on the drift over a mark, offered on hooks above the 1/0 mark.  Light boat tackle offers great sport.  Although they are a shoaling fish, these are rare fish and they are rarely encountered in large numbers even off the boats.  Try a large estuary or harbour anywhere on the south or west coast.

Shore tactics: We have just begun to get reports of Gilthead Bream caught from the shore in Ireland, specifically in the very South West, namely in West Cork.  As more details emerge, ideallt with photographic evidence we will post it here.  Nov 2004.