Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Most Wanted : John Dory.

Many people have no doubt enjoyed eating this fish without having the slightest idea of what it actually looks like. Indeed if it were put in a fishmongers display I doubt many people would order it, such is its bizarre, alien appearance!

The John Dory is a weird looking fish.

The round, thin plate like body of the John Dory means when viewed head on they almost vanish, no doubt useful when they are hunting sandeels and small goby species. Varying in colour from olive to yellow with a large spot on their flank that serves as a both a defensive feature being flashed at would be predators to scare them off and also as a hunting aid when it is used to confuse prey fish before they are scooped up in its enormous, extendable, trap door like mouth. This huge mouth along with the rest of its head is somewhat out of proportion with the rest of its body. A rather spectacular set of elaborate and elongated fins also add to the odd look of this fish. This strange, and some may even say cumbersome, appearance makes them slow but graceful swimmers. Normally a solitary fish they are quite widespread throught the worlds oceans. I think my best chance of catching one would probably be of the south west coast of England although they are another species that have been spotted in the waters around St Abbs Head a lot closer to home.

St Abbs seems to be a bit of a strange species mecca.

Being realistic, I'm not sure if they are really a species I can deliberately target so hopefully I can be in the right place at the right time and get lucky. This doesn't change the fact I'd still love to catch one though!

Tight lines, Scott.

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