Dicentrarchus labrax - Bass

Phylum: Chordata - Class: Actinopterygii - Order: Perciformes - Family: Moronidae


One of the most exciting of all sport fish that can be caught from the shore, bass can grow to 15 lb (7 kg) or more in Welsh coastal waters, and a record specimen of almost 17 lb was caught from the shore at Aberthaw in 1980.

The West Wales storm beaches provide particularly good fishing, while some of the rocky coves on the Gower are also well worth a visit.

Bass are slow-growing fish and take between 10 and 20 years to reach full maturity. It is therefore very important not to kill undersized bass (the legal size limit is 41 cm or 16 inches) or to take more than a modest catch when the fishing is easy; the future of bass fishing depends upon fishermen acting responsibly towards stock conservation.

Bass shoal

Wales is at the northern limit of the bass's geographical range, and in autumn they migrate to warmer waters where they spend the winter months. Bass fishing is therefore very much a fair-weather sport. Spinning and fly fishing for bass on storm beaches or from rock perches are becoming increasingly popular methods of seeking this fine sporting fish.

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