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As our seas warm up different species have begun to show up and one of these is the gilthead bream. They have been mostly on the small side but they do grow to 70cms. Apart from the gold band across its nose that gives it the name, the face is the giveaway for identification.


The black bream has a small mouth in the middle of its face and quite close to the eye, while the gilthead has a larger mouth at the bottom of the face with a big gap to the eye giving it an aggressive look. Giltheads are known to feed in estuaries and can stand brackish water. Their diet is mainly crabs and prawns but will take worms and some vegetable matter.


TheGilthead Bream

Fact File

Latin Name: Sparus auratus


Distribution: Maiinly in the South West Channel but increasingly found in Kent and Sussex waters


Habitat:  While full grown mature fish may live in depths down to a hundred metres or so the vast majority live and feed between shallow inshore waters. It is primarily a demersal fish.


Size:  Maximum size1m - typical speciment 0.3 - 0.5m


Season: Summer Fish


Staple food: Crabs, worms prawns and crustaceans although they are herbivorous and can feed on seaweed and other forms of marine vegetation.


Angling tactics: Bottom fishing with worms or crab baits


Bait: Crab, fish or worm baits


British Record:

Boat caught; 9lb 150z

Shore caught; 10lb 5oz


Caught mostly In the south west but increasingly being caught in numbrs in the eastern channel and in Wales. Appear in number in Cornish eastuarys miles inland hunting for crabs at high tide.

Shoal fish which can be caught using similar tactics to Black Bream.Its a hard fighting fish which belies its size.


Gilthead Bream showing the Gold Bar which gives it Gilthead bream crp