The lesser Weever is a small predator that is often found around the UK during the summer months. Its belongs the fish family Trachinidae. This particular fish has itself one key defining feature over other fish caught in UK waters – venom.
The spine on its back are able to inflict a painful sting. Anglers have been known to swing them in and grab them by accident assuming it’s a different species. Moreover numerous beach users are stung every year as they wade through shallow waters in summer. The Lesser Weever begins to move in closer to shore in numbers during July but can be found before this.
The upturned mouth is due to it’s predation technique, it will sit partially buried in the sand. As prey moves past it will quickly lurch forward and grab it. They can be found as close as a few meters from the surf line, down to around 150 metres deep.
Lesser weevers are not a large species and grow to around 15cm in length but do get up to 18cm. There is another larger species- the greater Weever which is similar in appearance.
Lesser weaver will take most baits that anglers use, they have even been caught on mackerel feathers. If you are targeting Lesser Weevers as part of a species hunt a simple 2 hook flapper with smaller hooks will suffice. Live prawn is also a fantastic bait to use as it forms part of it natural prey. That said ive caught plenty to plain old black Lug Worm using 2 inch sections.
The Lesser Weaver in the main picture was caught accidentally when changing baits. It was hooked as the rig was retrieved along the sandy bottom at Perch Rock, New Brighton (Wirral).