TURBOT

Turbot are full blow predators. They lay half covered on the seabed, well camouflaged, and dart forward to intercept passing prey. The mouth is able to extend forwards and open extra wide. They eat sandeels, mackerel, herring, poor cod, pouting, dragonets, whiting, codling and other small flatfish.

Turbot can grow to well over 40lbs, this proven by commercial captures, but due to commercial fishing pressures any turbot over 20lbs is now considered a big fish, with most offshore turbot now weighing under 10lbs.

For inshore fishing over sandbanks up to 100-feet deep, a 12/20lb class boat rod with a low profile reel such as the ABU Revo Toro 60 series loaded with 20 to 30lb braid is ideal being lightweight and sporting. Alternatively use a reel such as the Penn 515 or equivalent Shimano or Daiwa loaded with the same line. In deep water over 100-feet a 20/30lb rod and a reel such as a Penn TRQ100 or Shimano TLD20 loaded with 30lb braid is perfect.

Lead weights will vary with the tide pull, but flat watch shaped leads are still highly effective as they kick up sand and create visual disturbance which the turbot will investigate. Carry sizes up to 8ozs and use these when possible. If fishing over mixed ground use a weak link, such as a wire tie, to the lead for easy release.

The spoon rig works best when the tide is running and should be released to the seabed slowly to keep the spoon and boom extended to avoid tangles. Let out enough line to keep the chosen lead weight in contact with the seabed at all times and hold the thumb on the spool of the reel with the reel in free spool. When a fish is felt to rattle at the bait, release a few feet of line to give the turbot time to take the bait in, then put the reel in gear and let the line tighten to set the hook in the fish.

Turbot are a large flatfish, and generally prefer sandy and muddy seabeds. They can also be found around light mixed and broken ground, and will even be found around rough ground if a source of food is present there. 

Offshore turbot can be caught all year round. Generally speaking the season peaks between August and November, though some very big turbot are caught on the offshore wrecks in the early year period if anglers target them.  Turbot like to live on sandbanks, especially the steep inclines facing in to the tide. Here food is washed down to them and their dart forward and grab approach suits this type of food presentation. They will also move over the sandbanks top at slack water to change direction to keep facing the tide. They can also be found on gravel banks, again on the inclines facing the tide.

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