The turbot is one of the most prized members of the flatfish family and makes an excellent meal for the table. It is very similar to the brill, both in looks and habits. Identification in comparison to the brill can be made from the shape of the body, as turbot are round. Another form of identification is the number of rays featured on the anal fin. The turbot has around 46 while the brill is blessed with some 60, housed on a longer fin. Turbot are coloured to blend in with their surroundings and are usually of a light-brown or sandy appearance on the top with a spattering of fine bony tubercles. They bear a resemblance to a polished marble surface and are masters of disguise when half-buried in the sandy bottom of the sea bed. The large mouth can accommodate a whole small fish when the jaws are fully extended. It is fitted with very fine teeth running up each side to grip the food. Turbot spawn in the months of March to June and a female is capable of laying ten million eggs, each one being 1 mm in size. Turbot can be found in good numbers around the coast of Britain and enjoy the rich hunting grounds of sandy bays and the sides of shallow, sloping sandbanks. They are also caught close to estuary marks which have muddy bottoms and many of the deep-water wrecks. Capable of growing upwards of 30lb in weight they can give the sea angler a good spirited fight if they are hooked on light tackle.

Where To Find Them

Widespread around the coast of Britain, but more plentiful in the south-west around the offshore wrecks and the Shambles Bank off Weymouth in Dorset.

When To Find Them

From May through to the end of October.

Natural Food and Best Baits

Shrimps, sandeels, sprats, whiting and small flatfish.

Tips and Tactics

Use a long trace of around 8-12ft. Turbot can often be caught by drifting moving bottom bait over the slopes of a sandbank once the tide starts to run. The turbot will follow moving bait for some distance before closing in and attacking the bait.

UK Records

Shore: 28lb 8oz

Boat: 33lb 12oz