Butterfish

Butterfish are one of the UK’s mini species and are all found all over the coast. A small, slimy, Eel shaped fish with intricate markings, a common fish that is rarely targeted. They can also be known as the Rock Gunnell but I have rarely heard this name used.

Size wise they can grow upto around 24cm , personally I have struggled to find any larger than 14cm in length. The habitat they prefer is is full over cover such as kelp / weed covered rocky areas. Moreover this allows them to hide from predators in any cracks but also contains there food source. Butterfish will happily feed upon small crustaceans, Molluscs and worm.

The best time to target this species is during summer and early autumn. Butterfish live in the inter tidal zone during this period and can be caught by lifting the weed back. Another way is to use the LRF fishing method at low tide but it can take a bit of perseverance. A lot of information online says winter is a no go for targeting this mini species as they head into deeper waters to breed. I don’t believe this is entirely true for the most part, I have had quite a few of these in mid November.

A picture of a Butterfish caught in the Menai Strait

A good spot to find them is along the Menai Strait, I’ve picked quite a lot at low tide. Try the area between Menai Bridge and Church Island if you are on a species hunt.

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