Bream, Couch’s

by David Proudfoot

Sparus pagrus

species ID couchs bream

Thanks to Paul “Bassman” Gordon for the photo

Other Names


Distinguishing features

The Couch’s bream is a deep bodied fish with a high, rounded profile to its head and a spiny single dorsal fin. The anal fin has 3 spiny rays connected to 8 or 9 softer rays to the posterior. This bream has an overall rose-pink hue which darkens towards the back and merges into silver on the lower sides and belly. The fins are also rose-pink. The mouth contains 4 to 6 very strong teeth at the front and smaller sharp teeth behind and to the sides of these. There are also a rows of crushing teeth to the rear of the jaws.


Couch’s bream will grow to a length of 75 cm and can reach weights in excess of 7kg.

British Record Fish List

UK Shore Record: 3lb 4oz 7dms / 1.486kg
UK Boat Record: 9lb 5oz 3dms / 4.229kg

European Line Class Record for this species


This bream can be from the southern end of the UK, particularly the Channel Islands, down to the Mediterranean and north-west African coast. It likes muddy or sandy ground around rocks particularly where sea grass is found. It will generally be targeted in depths shallower than 50 metres.


Feeds mainly on molluscs and small crustaceans.


Squid is an effective bait for Couch’s Bream particularly from the boat but fish strip, cuttlefish and worms will also take this bream.

species ID couchs bream

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