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With many anglers now targeting the turbot on the deep water sandbanks every now and again a brill will show up. At a quick glance it can be difficult to recognize it as a brill but the shape is the first clue. The turbot is almost circular while the brill is more of an oval shape.  Once the fish is in the boat it will soon be obvious which species it is by running your fingers over the back.


If it’s all bumpy with boney tubercles it’s a turbot, if the back is smooth then you have a brill. The mouth and gills on both species are on the left hand side while the plaice Flounder and dab all have their mouth on the right. Brill are often caught by anglers using slightly smaller baits especially using the blue side of a strip of mackerel.



The Brill

Fact File

Latin Name: (Scophthalmus rhombus)


Distribution: Found all round the coast of the UK.


Habitat: Mature brill avoid very shallow waters and usually stay just offshore in water between ten and thirty metres deep. However, fthey will come into shallower water in spring to spawn. Prefer sandy or muddy ground, and can also be found living on shingle seabeds.


Size:  Up to 3ft and 20lb


Season: Mainly Summer and Autumn when they move into accessible water


Staple food: They will the seabed and eat marine worms, invertebrates, crustaceans and prawns. They will also hunt and eat small fish and sandeels given the chance.


Angling tactics: Drifting over sand banks using flowing traces with striops of mackerel or sandeel.


Bait: Mackerel and Sandeel


British Record:

Boat caught; 16lbs

Shore caught; 7lb 7oz


Caught using Mackerel striops or sandeels. they are, like Turbot, Ambush hunters and lie in wait at the bottom of sand and gravel banks for small fish to swim past. Not as curious as Plaice.


Brill - more common than many anglers think Brill 2