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Stone Basse, Polyprion americanus

Irish Record Fish: 10.81 lbs 4.9 kgs
Caught: Kinsale 1989
Boat Specimen: 8 lbs  3.63 kgs
Shore Specimen: 4 lbs  1.81 kgs
Photo Credit:

 Pedro Duarte

Introduction: The Stone Basse or Wreckfish is the latest addition to the Irish Specimen Committee's Fish list.  It can reach 2 metres (6 feet) in length and weight 90 kilos (200 lbs) when fished for further afield (Spain out to the Azores), but in Ireland we have only seen them landed in the last decade or so, mainly from charter boats working deep water wreck marks late in the year along the southern coast.  The boat specimen is available at just 3.5 kilos (8 lbs) in weight. 

Boat tactics: A 30 lbs rod and reel is standard issue for wreck fishing and they  do live up to their names. The drop down to 20 lbs or 12 llsb is only for anglers who feel that they can handle similar big fish found on deep water wrecks!  They are at their limit in terms of range along the south western coast in Ireland.  A wire trace is not essential and the normal bottom bait of a fresh mackerel cone set onto a forged 6/0 hook is more than enough and allows you find other species likely to inhabit our wrecks.  These are ambush predators so a long trace and fluttering bait is likely to be your best bet, and it will take big Pollack and other large fish like Cod too! 

Shore tactics: There have been no reports yet, however if the reported rise in water temperatures from global warming continues, it is only a question of time before some angler make a name for himself or herself.  A deep water mark with rough ground and heavy weed somewhere in Cork or Kerry seems like the best bet.  It is said that all the most recent captures offshore have been small "juvenile" fish swimming up the Gulf Stream.