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The Scad

The scad is surprisingly one of the jack family that include the crevally jack and the blue runner usually found in the Mediterranean and further south.


The scad is similar in size to the common mackerel but has a plain grey-blue to greenish shade on the back, with no stripes, its flanks are silvery with a white belly. The most distinctive feature on the scad is the lateral line that is made up of extended scales that form a rough ridge.


They are a hardy little fish that can be caught on feathers or fish baits fished some way off the bottom. They make a good live bait for bass as they stay alive much longer than mackerel or pout.


British boat Record stands at 3lb 5ozs caught in Devon in 1978


Fact File

Latin Name: Trachurus trachurus


Distribution: Can be found in the north-eastern Atlantic from Iceland to Senegal, but more common around the south and west coasts, with a separate population migrating from Scandinavia to the coast of Scotland in summer.


Habitat:  Rocky reefs, piers, harbours, sunken wrecks


Size:  Up to 18ins average 12in


Season: Generally a Summer fish


Staple food: Mostly feeds by hunting small fish, sandeels and squid, although will take most edible creatures it comes across including crustaceans. Scad can also filter feed on plankton.


Angling tactics: Usually caught on feathers or while spinning for Mackerel


Bait Feathers


British Record:

Boat caught; 3lb 5ozs from Devon

Shore caught; 3lb



Caught In open water or occassionally on beaches,piers and jetty's when swimming with Mackerel



Scad flipped 2