Red Porgy - Pagrus Pagrus
Latin: Pagrus Pagrus
English: Red Porgy, Common Seabream, White Snapper (Gulf of Mexico)
German: Die Gemeine Meerbrasse
Italian: Pagro, Pàuro, Pagro Dentice
Spanish: El Besugo, Pargo, Rubiel, Mazote, Bocinegro
Croatian: Pagar, Hvag, Pagrun, Pagra, Fag
French: Pagre Commun, Pagre Rouge
About: Red Porgy - Pagrus Pagrus - is a fish species in the family Sparidae. Head is strong and relatively large with 4 upper and 6 lower canine like teeth in the jaws; combined with strong tail fin - sign of active predator.
Pink reddish body is darker on the back and transition to silverish on the bottom. Head is darker from jaws to nape. Young specimens sometimes have small blue spots on upper side.
Maximum length is around 90cm and maximum weight around 8kg, although there are some unconfirmed reports of Red Porgy specimens having up to 17kg (37 pounds)! On average, it has around 0.6kg in weight and around 35cm.
As said before, it is active predator, feeding mainly on crustaceans, molluscs and fish.
Habitat: Pagrus Pagrus is common in Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean and northward to the British Isles. Also, it is present in Western Atlantic: from New York (USA) and northern Gulf of Mexico to Argentina (South America).
Red Porgy can be found from shallows up to the depths of 250m, but it is most common between 30 and 100m. It prefers waters with hard or sandy bottoms. Young individuals can be found on Posidonia beds, where they can found both food and shelter.
Fishing period: It can be caught year long, but mostly during warmer months. It will grab any suitable bait, day or night, but much better early in morning and late in the evening. Note: spawning season vary depending to the location and warmth of the water. The fishing season vary from location to location, too.
Red Porgy - Photo by Wikipedia
Fishing rigs and tackle: Red Porgy can be caught using longlines, rods and reels, and handlines. It can be caught in various bottom nets and smaller specimens can be caught with fish traps. Often, it can be caught when trolling on location where it actively feeds.
Line's thickness should be according to the anticipated fish size - it is strong fish and good fighter, so be sure to dimension your rigs accordingly. Also, leader line made out of fluorocarbon (almost invisible in water) is highly recommended.
When trolling, live bait is recommended, but it will grab most of the modern lures. It can be often caught when trolling for Common Dentex and similar species.
On longlines, handlines and rod and reels, one should use chunks of locally caught small fish or whole fishes. When you catch Red Porgy, if you don't intend to release it, check stomach content and see what has it been feeding lately with and if necessary, change your bait - this technique can significantly improve your fishing, not only with this specie.
When found in shallows, it can be caught using speargun and larger specimens are considered as trophies :)
Cuisine: It is often considered that it is not as good as Common Dentex, but it's meat is very tasty and it can be prepared in numerous ways. Barbequed with some olive oil, parsley, garlic and fresh lemon juice is delicacy. Also, it is often prepared in mixed fish stew. Smaller specimens or fillets can be pan fried.