There’s a Three-Bearded Rockling, Gaidropsarus vulgaris, in the creel. It’s a spectacular fish, a relative of the Cod and Haddock, but very different in its habits and appearance. They live amongst rocks and weed and feed on worms, prawns, shellfish or scavenge dead fish. It’s no wonder it was attracted to the bait in the creel.
Being covered in slime and also being considered unattractive has saved them from commercial fishery. Anglers call them ‘slug’. Apparently consumers won’t buy them.
I think it’s an unbelievably beautiful fish and I’m so thrilled to have seen it. For now, it’s back down seven fathoms to the rocks and weed below.