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Pouting, Trisopterus luscus

Irish Record Fish: 4.84 lbs 2.2 kgs
Caught: Kilmore Quay 1983.
Boat Specimen: 3 lbs  1.36 kgs
Shore Specimen: 2 lbs  0.91 kgs
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Introduction: The Pouting is a nuisance to most anglers and there is no getting away from it!  Often arriving in vast shoals, it accounts for more stripped baits and irritation than all the other fish put together.  They can grow to a quite decent size but most anglers detest them... and quite often, they end up being used as bait. And they're not all that good at that either!

Boat tactics: Pouting are not sought after and as such they are generally taken (whether you like it or not!) when fishing for other species.  They tend to hang around at the bottom, mainly over sand and mixed ground, and drive you demented by stripping baits or impaling themselves on hooks destined for better fish.  Most boat tactics for Pouting focus on how to avoid them and based on personal experience, sadly, none of them work! 

Shore tactics: From the shore, most of the big beaches off the Irish Sea regularly produce Pouting especially during the colder months. Again perhaps because people are a bit remiss in reporting Pouting catches, it is difficult to say where and how to catch them from shore, as generally they find you, and when they do, you get very busy and very bored at the same time!  There is a practice of using a pennel rig with a small hook baited with worm to catch a Pouting, when they are feeding offshore, and then allowing the rig with the larger hook free, to fish as a livebait. Livebaiting, contrary to reports, is legal in sea fishing.