Dr Roger Munro reveals the secrets and essential knowledge needed to successfully target turbot and brill from the shore

Brill,” I muttered to myself. This was not a comment about the fish I has just landed; I thought I had succeeded in catching a small thornback ray. It was, in fact, a turbot – the only one I have ever caught and it was purely an accidental catch. I was fishing for rays during early summer on Cold Knap beach near Barry when I attempted to cast my double sandeel bait as near as I could to the distant coast of Devon. Instead, I only succeeded in getting it quite close to the coast of South Wales as it landed in a deep gulley just 30 yards out. Despite my best endeavours over the last 60 years, I have yet to catch a brill, nor have I ever seen one caught from the shore. Although both turbot and brill are widely distributed in the north-east Atlantic they occur with low abundance. They are ecologically very similar and are very closely related since they belong to the same genus.

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