The gilthead bream has the typical deep, flat profile bream shape. It has a distinct bump on the head above the gills. The front teeth are sharp and pointed whereas the others are flat for crushing. When alive or fresh it has red or orange markings at the gill covers and a bright irregular gold stripe across the head and onto the gill covers which gives the fish its name. The back is a bluey grey merging into silver on the lower sides and belly.
The gilthead can reach weights of 7.5 kg.
British Record Fish List
UK Shore Record: 10lb 5oz 8dms / 4.692kgs
UK Boat Record: 9lb 15oz 8dms / 4.521kgs
Lives in shallow water, up to 30 metres, in small groups over soft ground. It prefers the warmer waters around the Mediterranean and the west coast of Africa. In summer it migrates north and can be found on the south coast of Ireland and the western reaches of the English Channel.
It feeds mainly on molluscs and crustaceans.
Peeler crab and shellfish are the main baits for giltheads but they will take worms as well.