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Gurnard

There are over one hundred species of gurnard found throughout the world, but only three have a wide distribution around the UK which are the tub, red and grey gurnard. They are a very distinctive species which have a large armoured head and feelers underneath which they use to walk along the bottom. They also have very unusually large pectoral fins, which make this species un-mistakable from any other.


The gurnard move out into deeper water in the winter but move inshore to shallow water during the summer months to feed and breed. Gurnard prefer to feed over sandy or muddy ground, but will move to feed over mixed ground if there is an abundance of food available there. All gurnard are predatory and will feed on small fish and sandeel, as well as scavange for marine worms and crustaceans.


Fishing for gurnard is best done from clean sandy beaches or at harbour entrances. They are good sight feeders and can be caught throughout the day, although early morning or late evening can provide the best sport. Lure wise, spinners and jigs or small paddletail baits are ideal as are worm type baits such as Isome or Gulp Sandworm. Keep lures near to the bottom as gurnard are bottom feeders. My favourite method is to use a small jig head and let it bounce about, although the drop shot method is also very successful.