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Tub Gurnard, Chelidonicthys lucerna

Irish Record Fish: We have withdrawn the details on the Irish record and specimen weights as the current IFSC rules require anglers kill all such fish, hardly sporting or conservation minded, is it?  Alternatives exist.
Boat Specimen:
Shore Specimen:
Photo Credit:

 David Luquet

Introduction: The Tub Gurnard is the big brother of the three main Gurnard found in Irish waters, and it can reach over > 5 kilos (10 lbs) in weight. Although it is commonly reddish in colour, and similar to all the Gurnard, it has very large pectoral fins and is by far the largest Gurnard available. Whilst the pectoral fins are large, they are by no means the size of those found in the Flying Gurnard, which reach almost to the tail in length.  Tub Gurnard are substantial fish but do not fight as well as they might.

Boat tactics: This is not such a small fish, and the Tub Gurnard can reach a decent size, certainly an equal of most inshore reef Pollack.  They will tackle any bait with mackerel strip and ragworm offering you the best option - you do not have to be so dainty with the terminal rig - the hooks can reach 3/0 in a pennel rig, and a 8 or 12 lbs standard boat rod sufficient for this fish.

Shore tactics: Yet again we have not heard of Tub Gurnard being caught from shore, although they will be caught in under 12 feet of water from off a boat!  The monster record was caught at the "Bullsmouth", a famous if relatively shallow tidal race over sand and mud in the north of Achill Island, and if you want a big Tub Gurnard, Co. Mayo does seem to produce lots of them. It also holds the current records for all three main species of Gurnard - and produces specimen fish every year without fail.