John with a typical Essex thornback
26 Mar 2017

Essex Thornback On The Target List

John Popplewell explains why Essex thornback ray are on his target list throughout the year as he heads to Holland on Sea for a day on the beach.

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flatfish identification - the curved lateral line on a dab
08 Feb 2017

Flatfish Identification A Simplified Guide to Common Flatfish

Flatfish are among the most common species encountered by the shore angler. Despite them being regular catches confusion still exists when trying to identify dab, flounder and plaice. This guide to flatfish identification explains the species differences. When it come

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tadpole fish
08 May 2014

Tadpole Fish

Thick stumpy body with a broad head which is almost as broad as it is long. It has a single chin barbel and a tiny first dorsal fin with only three small rays. The second dorsal and anal fins are long and almost reach the tail. It is brown to reddish-brown colour on the back and a grey-ish white underneath. The lips and mouth are stand out white and the edges of the fins are light in colour.

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species ID cuckoo wrasse male
27 May 2013

Wrasse, Cuckoo

The cuckoo wrasse is one of the most distinctively coloured of the cold water wrasse species with the male in particular taking on tropical hues.

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species ID ballan wrasse
27 May 2013

Wrasse, Ballan

The ballan wrasse is a deep bodied, fully scaled member of the Labridae family with a pointed but not elongated mouth which contains prominent teeth and thick lips.

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species ID whiting
27 May 2013

Whiting

The whiting is a slim bodied member of the cod family with three dorsal fins which are joined. It has two anal fins the first of which is long and the first edge starts below the mid point of the first dorsal.

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species ID tusk
27 May 2013

Tusk

The tusk is a muscular, solid bodied fish with a single long dorsal and anal fin which meet the tail fin. It has a single chin barbel. The lateral line curves downwards above the vent.

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species ID trigger fish
27 May 2013

Trigger Fish

The trigger fish is well named as the second of the three spines on the first dorsal can act as a trigger and locks the strong sharp first spine as a defensive measure.

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species ID scad
27 May 2013

Scad

Although also know as the horse mackerel the scad is from a totally different family to the Atlantic mackerel. The body shape is similar but two dorsal fins are close together.

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species ID pouting
27 May 2013

Pouting

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.

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