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Offline Thunderpants

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Identifying Rocklings - 3B, 5B and Shore
« on: January 07, 2015, 07:10:14 AM »


3B Rockling - Three barbels, bright orange/brown with dark spots, large (typically around 1lb)

Shore Rockling - Three barbels, sometimes drab coloured (plain brown) , sometimes olive green with light mottled spots

5B Rockling - Five barbels, drab coloured, small size (up to 25cm)

Notes -
(1) 5B and shore rocklings are commonly caught in the NE but 3Bs are rare and are mainly caught in other parts of the UK such as the west coast of Scotland.
(2) The barbels are often stuck down against the head when caught so gently run your finger back from the nose over the top of the head to get them to stand up for a photograph
.



People often think that because they have caught a rockling with three barbels it is a Three Bearded Rockling. If you caught it in north east England it is almost certainly a shore rockling. I have never heard of anyone catching a genuine 3B in our area. Here is a bit more information about these two species to help you with your identification...

Shore rocklings can have a variety of patterns but are always drab or brown or greenish in colour. Sometimes they are fairly uniform, sometimes they have a line of faint white spots along the middle of the body, sometimes they are covered in a light mottled pattern. All these variations are the same species and the markings are always light coloured on a dark background...


Drab brown but with a faint row of white spots along the middle of the body



Light coloured mottled pattern on a greenish body

Three Bearded Rocklings are always orange/brown but even if the picture was in black and white you could tell the difference because the shore rockling is always plain or light markings on a dark background, whereas the 3B is dark markings on a light background (dark brown on an orange/brown background)...




This pic shows a shore rockling on top and a 3B underneath...

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Offline ELTEL

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Re: Identifying Rocklings - 3B, 5B and Shore
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2015, 08:46:14 PM »
Hello Mike I am just looking through one of my old fishing encyclopedias of fishing in Britain and Irleland and it has pictures of 5 types of rockling do people still catch the four-bearded Rockling and the northern rockling both the five bearded rockling and the northern rockling have 5 beards

Offline Thunderpants

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Re: Identifying Rocklings - 3B, 5B and Shore
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2015, 09:28:32 PM »
There is also the Big Eye Rockling  :)   Big Eye and Northern rocklings are extremely rare I've never heard of anyone catching one. Four beards are pretty rare from the shore and a deep water species but although I don't know anyone who has caught one I guess one could turn up at a deep water rock mark somewhere. They would be easy to identify as they only have three beards on top and one beneath the chin and no other rockling species has four beards so could not be confused. If anyone in the hunt gets one they should get a gold star.
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Offline ELTEL

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Re: Identifying Rocklings - 3B, 5B and Shore
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2015, 09:41:47 PM »
There is also the Big Eye Rockling  :)   Big Eye and Northern rocklings are extremely rare I've never heard of anyone catching one. Four beards are pretty rare from the shore and a deep water species but although I don't know anyone who has caught one I guess one could turn up at a deep water rock mark somewhere. They would be easy to identify as they only have three beards on top and one beneath the chin and no other rockling species has four beards so could not be confused. If anyone in the hunt gets one they should get a gold star.
I was just wondering mate as my books are old a bit like me mate

 

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