The Gilt-head Seabream is a fish of the bream family Sparidae. The Gilt-head Seabream is generally considered the best-tasting of the breams. It is the single species of the genus Sparus – the Latin name for this fish– which has given the whole family of Sparidae its name. The second part of the binomial name, aurata, derives from the gold bar marking between its eyes.
The body is oval, rather deep and compressed. The head profile is regularly curved. The mouth is low, very slightly oblique. They have four to six canine-like teeth anteriorly in each jaw, followed posteriorly by blunter teeth which become progresively molar-like and are arranged in 2 to 4 rows. The dorsal fin has 11 spines and 13 to 14 soft rays while the anal fin has 3 spines and 11 or 12 soft rays. Cheeks are scaly, preopercle scaleless. Their colour is silvery grey; there is a large black blotch at the origin of the lateral line extending on the upper margin of the percle where it is edged below by a reddish area. They also have a golden frontal band between the eyes which is edged by two dark areas.
When fishing for Gilt-head Seabream most rods will do the job, you should try 8-11ft, estuary rods, carp rods. You can use reels with bait runners so you can have two different degrees of drag set at once without the fiddle of tightening up whilst playing the fish. 15lb braid line is a good choice as a mainline but mono is fine and will still catch fish although it does tend to stratch a little after a good scrap with a bream or two. Carp hooks are a very good choice for this fish, size 1-4. These are better suited to catching strong fish. The smaller hooks will also pick up the smaller Gilt-head Seabream that inhabit the same waters. Simple running legers are used here, just slide a weight on your mainline (i use 3oz ball leads but pear shaped leads are also fine) followed by a bead and then a swivel. Onto this tie a short length(about a foot or so is fine) of 10 or 12lb fluorocarbon or similar strength mono.
All sorts of baits will tempt Gilt-head Seabream including lugworm, ragworm, peeler crab, razor clam, live and frozen prawns and even limpets or any combination. When they strike don't play the fish too hard, let it take line if it wants but try to keep your rod up and enjoy the battle, these fish are good fighters.
The Gilt-head Seabream is found in the Mediterranean Sea and the eastern coastal regions of the North Atlantic Ocean. It is present along the Eastern Atlantic coasts from Great Britain to Senegal, and rare in the Black Sea.