by David Proudfoot

Belone belone

species ID garfish

Distinguishing features

The garfish has a distinctive elongated body with a long beak like set of hard jaws. It has a long single dorsal and anal fin. The colouration is a bright blueish green on the back and upper sides fading into bright silver on the lower sides and belly. A yellow sheen is sometimes present on the lower half. The scales come off easily in hand and the bones have a greenish tint.

species ID garfishSize

The garfish can reach a length of a round one metre and a weight of 1.75 kg.

British Record Fish List

UK Shore Record: 3lb 4oz 12dms / 1.495kgs
UK Boat Record: 3lb 9oz 8dms / 1.630kgs

European Line Class Record for this species


Garfish are found mainly in the surface layers of the sea. It migrates from deep water inshore during the summer months. It is mostly found in southern section of the east North Atlantic, the southern North Sea, the Mediterranean and round into the Baltic Sea.


They feed mainly on small fish especially herring and sandeels but will also eat squid and crustaceans.


Small strips of fish are the most effective bait for garfish including mackerel belly strip and pieces of garfish itself.


Garfish will take slender silver spoons and spinners together with feathers. They can also be taken on small plastic eels and Storm sandeel style lures.

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