(Gadus Luscus)

The pouting is a member of the cod family and is often regarded as a pest by some shore anglers, because of its tendency of young fish to steal bait. Larger specimens, however, make good eating, but must be cooked quickly preferably the same day they are caught as they have a tendency to go off quickly and create a serious smell in the process. As with' the cod the pouting also has a barbules positioned under the chin. The fish has an attractive sheen of pink which runs from behind the head to the tail, over a copper- brown back. The underside of the fish is cream and usually has a black spot can be found at the base of the pectoral fin. Once taken from the water, the pink sheen fades quickly and the skin turns a dreary copper colour. Pouting spawn in the late winter or early spring, the eggs taking around two weeks to hatch out. The average size of a beach caught pouting is usually likely to be around 1 lb or less while bigger examples can be picked up by boat anglers with anything up to 3lb possible. They also can make good bait for other species such as cod, bass and conger.

Where To Find Them

Widely distributed around the British coast, they are generally more abundant along the south coast. Smaller pouting will inhabit areas of shore line offering firm sandy beaches and rocky foreshores, even entering estuaries in search of food, and bigger pouting live in deeper water over rough ground and wrecks.

When To Find Them

Pouting can be caught at any time of year. Generally widespread around UK shores, pouting can be caught when fishing from the beach particularly in the late evening or at night. Especially productive area are also along the side of piers and breakwaters.

Natural Food and Best Baits

Shrimps, small crabs, worms, shellfish and small squid. Not many anglers target Pouting directly but if you are after most of the smaller shore species you stand a good chance of picking them up if they are about with the same bait.

Tips and Tactics

Use shorter hook snoods when fishing for pouting as they are inclined to spin in the tide and this can lead to tangled traces.

UK Records

Shore: 4lb 9oz

Boat: 5lb 8oz