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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 poor cod is a mini-species from the cod family with three dorsal fins and two anal fins. The base of the first anal fin starts beneath the space between the first and second dorsal fins and the upper jaw overlaps the lower.