Pouting

by David Proudfoot

Trisopterus luscus

Other Names

Scotchies, Scotch Haddock, Bleg, White Eyes, Gilligant, Brown Bream

species ID poutingDistinguishing features

The pouting is a deep bodied member of the cod family with three dorsal fins and two anal fins which all overlap at the base. The start of the front anal fin is well forward, below the middle of the first dorsal. The pelvic fin is long and reaches past the anal vent. These latter two characteristics are the easiest way to differentiate between a small pouting and its close relative the poor cod. Coloration in the adult is generally a coppery-brown with four or five darker bands across the upper body and a black spot at the base of the pectoral fin. Younger pout tend to be more silver grey in colour and the bands may be absent.

Size

Pouting can reach a maximum weight of around 3 kg but the average size from the boat is about 1 kg and less than half of that from the shore.

British Record Fish List

UK Shore Record: 4lb 9oz 0dms / 2.069kgs
UK Boat Record: 5lb 8oz 0dms 2.494kgs

European Line Class Record for this species

Habitat

Pout are very common in the waters around the English Channel and southern North Sea with the small fish being found in shallow water with a sandy bottom. Larger fish tend to shoal near or over rocks and wrecks. They can be found anywhere from the shoreline to depths of 300 metres and spawns in March to April.

Food

Its food consists mainly of small squid, fish and crustaceans with shrimps a particular favourite.

Bait

Pouting can be veracious feeders and will take most baits but fish strips and squid will take the larger specimens. Using worm baits, lugworm or rag can be very effective for shore fishing or smaller fish from the boat. It’s not unusual for large pout to take a whole mackerel flapper when fishing for conger.

Lures

Although not normally a target for the lures fisherman, pouting will happily take small sabiki lures or mini-eels fished hard on the bottom.

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