Bream, Red

by David Proudfoot

Pagellus bogaraveo – Pictured Top

species ID red bream

Distinguishing features

While the red bream has the basic bream family shape it is not as deep bodied as some and has a rounded head. It has large eyes and long pectoral fins. The back is a reddish grey colour as are the fins and the sides are silver with as pinkish hue. There is a darkish spot above the pectoral fin on the dark lateral line. The fins are reddish grey in colour, the pectoral and tail fins are particularly red.


The red bream can grow to over 50 cm and weigh up to 4.5 kg.

British Record Fish List

UK Shore Record: 9lb 8oz 12dms / 4.330kgs
UK Boat Record: 4lb 7oz 0dms 2.012kgs

European Line Class Record for this species


This bream is a shoal fish which migrates north during the summer from the warmer waters around the Mediterranean and the Atlantic coasts of France and Spain. Young fish will come into shallow water and adults live in water over 100 metres deep most of the time. It prefers mixed hard ground and like the black bream, can be found around wrecks.


The red bream feeds mainly on small fish but they will also eat squid and crustaceans.


Shellfish such as razors, cockles and mussels make good baits for this species and they will also take fish strips.

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