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Red Gurnard

red-gurnardThis strange fella was caught while we were trying to catch some grunter at the Swartkops river.
It had the most vibrant colours ever seen on a fish.

Fish: Red gurnard.
Length/Weight: 30cm
Caught by: Hayd Mourant
Caught where: Swartkops river.
Date caught: 06.07.2013.
Bait or lure used: Sand prawn


  1. What a catch Hayd !!
    Never seen one of those come out of Swartkops before.
    Those colours are so beautiful and vibrant.
    Is it a new species for you ??

  2. 1st time species indeed.
    I have caught plenty river gurnard but never a red gurnard.
    The colours were really awesome.

  3. This is a normal sea gurnard, normally caught in deeper water on a sandy bottom (not a bum). In years past, you’d sometimes catch them off St Francis Point (platform area) when the water went a bit cold. I’ve seen them as big as 1.5kg.

    It’s certainly unusual to be catching them in Swartkops River. Perhaps it’s the proximity of the new Coega harbour that’s attracting them to the area.

    Incidentally, they’re very nice to eat. I used to catch a lot of them in False Bay many years ago as well, while fishing for snoek… usually in about thirteen fathoms of water. There’s a special way of filleting them as well…
    by severing the spine just below the head and making a cut through the skin around the area (but not all the way through to the belly), you can pull the head, guts and skin off, all the way through to the tail, leaving perfect white flesh. I’m pretty sure this is probably the same fish trawlers catch and which is sold commercially as “Gurnard”.

    So, it looks like you’ve been deepsea fishing in the Swartkops River. :)

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