(Spondyliosoma Cantharus)

Featuring a long dorsal fin with sharp spines and a shorter anal fin with three more spines the Black Bream is fully scaled and has a small head in comparison to the body. The upper jaw is fitted with a front row of sharp teeth. Behind these are an additional set of curved, needle sharp teeth. The colouring on black bream may vary depending on the area and the depth of water from which it is caught. The flanks are normally grey or silver, with the back dark grey with a blue sheen, shading into black around the top of the back.

The black bream spawns in April or May and differs from other sea bream as it makes a nest on the bottom of the sea bed to lay its spawn in. Less common in recent years the black bream has not been caught in the numbers it used to be. Black bream do not grow to a great size and a bream of 3 lb (1.36 kg) can be considered a fine specimen of a fish and are more commonly caught by boat anglers fishing over areas of broken rocky ground and reefs. Black bream are renowned as a sporty, hard fighter and particularly good fun on lighter tackle.

Where To Find Them

Black Bream are found in coastal waters all around the British Isles and Channel Islands. The south coast and in particular port areas most notably Littlehampton, Hayling Island, Poole and Lymington. Some of the smaller fish do get caught from the shore, but this tends to be from marks in deeper water.

When To Find Them

Black Bream can be picked up any time early May through to late September.

Natural Food and Best Baits

Bream feed mainly crustaceans, worms, plankton and seaweed. A rag worm tipped with a strip of squid is particularly deadly.

Tips and Tactics

A broken reef with a wreck located on it is the ideal hunting ground for the black bream.

UK Records

Shore: 5lb 2 drams

Boat: 6lb 14oz 4 drams