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Lumpsucker, Cyclopterus Lumpus

Irish Record Fish: not recognised
Caught: none reported recently
Boat Specimen: not recognised
Shore Specimen: not recognised
Photo Credit:


Introduction: Another particularly odd looking fish, that is rarely encountered on rod and line, and certainly only from a boat, the Lumpsucker is unlikely to be confused with any other species. A bottom dwelling fish, it is most commonly associated with Northern colder water and can reach up to 20 lbs (9 kgs) in weight. Its eggs or roe are used in as the key ingredient in Lumpsucker caviar, considered as second only to real Sturgeon caviar. 

Boat tactics: Any chance encounter will be in fairly deep water of 60 fathoms or more (40 metres plus) and during the summer only, when they migrate often substantial distances in order to spawn.  They are not known to shoal, even during spawning, so any capture will be unique. They do show up regularly in trawlermen's catches, especially out of Killybegs and Burtonport. They possess the characteristic humps and bumps, but bear in mind that there are plenty of spines in there too!  A small fish bait offered on the bottom is your best option, although it need not be that small, perhaps a mackerel strip or cocktail bait on a 3/0 hook or upwards. 

Shore tactics: Not a chance!