Phylum: Chordata - Class: Actinopterygii - Order: Scropaeniformes - Family: Triglidae
This is the most common of the gurnards around the shores of Wales, and it is found in water just a few metres deep as well as in very deep coastal waters (over 100 metres), where they crawl along the sea bed probing for food with the front three rays of their pectoral fins; these rays are detached from the rest of the pectoral fins and the gurnard appears to be walking on these very thin 'legs'.
These are not big fish, rarely exceeding 40cm in length; a fish of 1.5lb (0.6kg) is a very good specimen, and the Welsh rod-caught record grey gurnard, caught off Milford Haven in 1976, weighed 1lb 12oz (approx. 0.8 kg).
Grey gurnard can live for more than 15 years, but they reach maturity at two years (for males) or three years (for females). Grey gurnard spawn from late spring through the summer months.
You are most likely to catch grey gurnard when fishing over a sandy bottom. Worm baits are ideal, but small strips of fish and crab baits will also bring results. These are bottom feeders, but a spinner or flounder spoon worked slowly along the bottom will also tempt them.
If you found this information helpful, you would probably find the new 2017 edition of our bestselling book Matching the Hatch by Pat O'Reilly very useful. Order your copy here...