01279 501051 info@marrfish.co.uk

Seasonality

What fish are in season right now? Why does it matter?

Our fishermen have years of knowledge regarding seasonality, a lot of this knowledge has been handed down by generations of fishermen. It makes sense we should be guided by their expertise and make the most of what our UK waters have to offer at any particular time of the year.

Seasons are apparent due to water temperature, migration of stock, natural food sources, reproduction and spawning among other things.

Some seasons we should utilise, due to the quality of the fish, being tip top, best in class during a 12 month period. Due to the abundance and availability prices may slacken and deals can be had.

Some seasons need to be avoided, in our opinion, when fish are spawning and in poor condition, providing poor yealds and a poor eating experience.

Working so close to the industry we wish to guide you through these so important seasonal periods, offering you the best opportunity of giving your diners the best possible eating experience.

Keep up to date on this page – what’s in and what’s out – in regards to wild caught species.

Availability guide: Good, Varying, Poor, Time of best quality – If not specified specie is of consistent quality all year.
Price guide: £ = Low, ££ = Medium, £££ = High

Commercial name Also known as… What’s it like? Alternative options Pricing Months of availability
Anchovy Round, warmwater, usually sold filleted and preserved in oil. Herrings, sardines £ Preserved fillets available all year round
Barracuda Round, warmwater, flaky flesh, sweet-tasting. Kingfish ££

Jan – Aug

Sept – Dec

Barramundi Giant sea perch Round, warmwater, moist flesh and a sweet taste. Wild sea bass – large ££ Jan – Dec
Bonito Tuna Round, warmwater, strong taste and coarse texture. Mackerel, tuna, kingfish ££

Dec – March

Apr – Jun

Jul – Sept

Oct – Nov

Jun – Aug

Bream (fresh water) Round, freshwater, mild taste – requires lively flavouring Carp £

Jan – Jun

Jul – Dec

Sept – Jan

Bream (sea) Gilthead bream, royal bream Round, warmwater, works best with light subtle flavours. Sea bass, emperor, snapper £

Dec – Feb

Mar – Apr

May – Sept

Oct – Nov

May – Jul

Brill Flat, coldwater, sweet taste. Turbot ££

Dec – Feb

Mar – Apr

May – Sept

Oct – Nov

Apr – May

Carp Common carp, grass carp Round, freshwater, can carry strong flavours. Pike, perch £

Jan – Jun

Jul – Dec

Sept – Jan

Catfish (fresh water) Round, freshwater, firm texture and mild flavour. £ Jan – Dec
Catfish (sea) Wolffish, rockfish Round, coldwater, firm flesh, can be cooked the same as cod. Any cod-like fish £

Nov – Jan

Feb – Mar

Apr – Oct

Clam Razor clam Molluscs (bivalve), used in linguine or can be served raw. Mussel, cockle £

Sept – Apr

May

Jun – Jul

Aug

 

Clam (palourdes) Carpet shell clam Molluscs (bivalve), the finest of clams. £££

Sept – Apr

May

Jun – Jul

Aug

 

Cockle Molluscs (bivalve), very similar to clams and cooked in the same ways. Clam £

Sept – Apr

May

Jun – Jul

Aug

Oct – Feb

Cod Round, coldwater, meaty portions with large white succulent flakes. Haddock £

Nov – Dec

Jan – Feb

Mar – May

Jun – Aug

Sept – Oct

Jul – Oct

Coley Saithe, coalfish Round, coldwater, flesh brightens during cooking, fine flavour. Any cod-like fish £

Aug – Dec

Jan

Feb – Apr

May – Jul

Conger Conger eel Round, coldwater Ling £

Nov – Mar

Apr – May

Jun – Oct

Crab Brown crab, spider crab Crustacean, sweet tasting, soft flakes. ££

Nov – Jan

Feb – Mar

Apr – Oct

Mar – Jun

Crawfish Rock lobster Crustacean, strong flavour, firm meaty flesh. Lobster £££

Sept – Mar

Apr

May – Jul

Aug

Crayfish Crustacean, prawn like texture, sweet taste. Langoustine, king prawn £££ Preserved tail meat available all year round
Croaker Drum, jewfish Round, warmwater, sweet flavour. Snapper ££ Jan – Dec
Cuttlefish Cephalopods, light sweet and delicate flavour. Squid, octopus £

Nov – Feb

Mar

Apr – Aug

Sept – Oct

Nov – Feb

Dab Flat, coldwater, similar flavour and texture to plaice. Plaice, flounder £

Jan – May

Jun – Sept

Oct

Nov – Dec

Jul – Aug

Dover Sole Flat, coldwater, crisp white flesh, almost sweet tasting. Lemon sole £££

Jan – Feb

Mar

Apr – Jun

Jul – Aug

Sept – Nov

Dec

Mar – Apr

Jul – Apr

Drum Croaker Round, warmwater, sweet flavour. Snapper ££ Jan – Dec
Emperor Longnose, yellow tail Round, warmwater, mild taste, can be cooked in the same way as a snapper. Sea bream £

Jan – Mar

Apr – Aug

Sept – Oct

Nov – Dec

Escolar Snake mackerel Round, game, warmwater, rich and oily flavour. Kingfish ££

Dec – May

Jun – Jul

Aug – Sept

Oct – Nov

Flounder Flat, coldwater, similar in flavour and texture to plaice. Dab, plaice ££

Dec – Apr

May

Jun – Sept

Oct – Nov

Sept – Nov

Gilthead bream Dorade, royal bream Round, warmwater, sweeter tasting alternative to sea bass. Sea bass £ Jan – Dec
Goat fish Round, warmwater, delicate flesh, strong flavour. Red mullet £ Jan – Dec
Grey mullet Round, coldwater, ideal for cooking with strong flavours. Sea bream ££

Dec – Mar

Apr – May

Jun – Sept

Gurnard Red, grey and tub gurnard Round, coldwater, used in soups, and stocks. Red mullet £

Nov – Feb

Mar – May

Jun – Jul

Aug – Sept

May – Sept

Haddock Round, coldwater, sweet flavour, can have small or large flakes. Any cod-like fish £

Jan

Feb – Apr

May – Jul

Aug – Oct

Nov – Dec

Jul – Sept

Hake Cape hake Round, coldwater, firm flesh after cooking, good flavour. Pollock £

Dec – Jan

Feb – Apr

May – Aug

Sept – Nov

Halibut Flat, coldwater, tasty firm and meaty flesh. Brill, turbot £ Jan – Dec
Herring Round, coldwater, oily fish. Mackerel £££

Oct – Jun

Jul – Sept

Hoki Round, coldwater, bright white fillets. Haddock, coley £ Jan – Dec
Icefish Toothfish (Antarctic and Chilean sea bass) Round, coldwater, rich tasting, like an oilier bass or cod. Salmon, black cod £ Fresh is difficult but frozen is available
Jack Trevally, pompano Round, game, warmwater, marinades help keep moisture in the fish when cooking. Bonito £ Jan – Dec
Jobfish Goldband jobfish Round, warmwater, thinner than a snapper but flesh and taste is similar. Snapper £ Jan – Dec
John Dory St Peters fish Round, coldwater, for best results pan fry or grill. Turbot, brill ££ Jan – Dec
King prawn Black tiger kind prawn Crustacean, freezing at source locks in freshness. Crayfish, langoustine £££ Jan – Dec
Kingfish King mackerel Round, game, warmwater, rich oily and firm flesh. Mackerel, Jack ££ Vast selection of frozen available all year round
Kingklip Round, coldwater. Hake, ling ££ Jan – Dec
Langoustine Scampi, Norway lobster Crustacean, tail meat has a sweet taste and prawn like texture. King prawn ££

Jan – Dec

Oct – Feb

Lemon sole Flat, coldwater, sweet flavour, small flakes. Plaice, witch ££

Oct – Mar

Apr

May – Aug

Sept

Jan – Feb

Jun – Sept

Ling Round, coldwater, firm texture and good flavour. Any cod-like fish £ Jan – Dec
Lobster Crustacean, tender meat. Crawfish £££ Jan – Dec
Lobster (slipper) Moreton Bay bugs Crustacean, all meat is in the tail. Lobster £££ Jan – Dec
Mackerel Round, coldwater, rich, oily flavour, sharp sauce compliments best. Herring £

Oct – May

Jun – Sept

Mahi mahi Dolphin fish Round, game, warmwater, goes well with chilli but the flavour can stand on its own. Kingfish ££

Nov – Jan

Feb – Oct

Marlin White, black and blue marlin Round, game, warmwater. Sailfish ££

May – Mar

Apr

Meagre Drum, coaker Round, warmwater. Grey mullet ££ Jan – Dec
Megrim Sail-fluke, whiff Flat, coldwater, soft flesh and thin skin. Witch, lemon sole £

Nov – Feb

Mar

Apr – Jul

Aug – Oct

Monkfish Anglerfish Coldwater, tail is firm has a meaty texture and a similar taste to langoustines. £££

Jan

Feb – Mar

Apr – Sept

Oct – Nov

Dec

Oct – Apr

Moonfish Opah Round, warmwater, firm, salmon-like flesh. Tuna £££

Oct – May

Jun – Sept

Mussel Molluscs (bivalve), strong/earthy flavour. Clam £

Jan – Dec

Oct – Mar

Octopus Cephalopods, various methods of cooking can be consumed raw. Cuttlefish, squid ££ Jan – Dec
Oyster (native)

Molluscs (bivalve), considered the best oysters, salsa type toppings also commonly served with lemon and pepper.

Pacific oyster £££

Sept – Apr

May – Aug closed season

Oyster (Pacific) Rock oyster Molluscs (bivalve), stronger salsa type toppings also commonly used. Native oyster £££ Jan – Dec
Perch Round, freshwater, firm white flesh, can be cooked like any trout. Pike, Zander ££ Jan – Dec
Pike Round, freshwater, soft flesh, delicate flavour. Perch £

Jun – Jan

Feb – Apr

May

Plaice Flat, coldwater, sweet mild flavour, soft small flakes. Dab, megrim £

Jan – Apr

May – Aug

Sept – Oct

Nov – Dec

Pollock Pollack, lythe Round, coldwater, closely related to coley. Any cod-like fish £

Nov – May

Jun – Oct

Pomfret Butter fish Round, warmwater, most prized fish in Indian cuisine. Pollock, haddock £££ Jan – Dec
Prawn (cold water) Crustacea, coldwater, freezing at source locks in freshness. £££ Jan – Dec
Prawn (warm water) Giant tiger prawn Crustacea, coldwater, freezing at source locks in freshness. £££ Jan – Dec
Red mullet Round, warmwater, strong sweet earthy flavour, soft flesh. Goatfish £££

Oct – May

Jun – Sept

Red snapper Round warmwater, sweet flavour, firm meaty flesh. Other snapper £££

Oct – Feb

Mar – Sept

Sablefish Black cod Round, coldwater, large moist flakes. Cod, sea bass £££ Only sold frozen
Sailfish Round, game, warmwater. Marlin ££ Jan – Dec
Salmon (farmed) Atlantic salmon Round, cold/freshwater, oily. Sea trout £ Jan – Dec
Salmon (wild) Atlantic salmon Round, cold/freshwater, oily. Sea trout £££

Jan

Feb – Aug

Sept

Oct – Dec

Salmon (Pacific) Cherry salmon Round, cold/freshwater, oily. Sea trout ££

Sept – Apr

May – Aug

Salmon (keta) Chum salmon Round, cold/freshwater, oily. Sea trout ££

Sept – Apr

May – Aug

Salmon (silver) Coho/red salmon Round, cold/freshwater, oily. Sea trout ££

Sept – Apr

May – Aug

Salmon (pink) Round, cold/freshwater, oily. Sea trout ££

Sept – Apr

May – Aug

Salmon (red) Sockeye salmon Round, cold/freshwater, oily. Sea trout ££

Sept – Apr

May – Aug

Salmon (king) Spring salmon Round, cold/freshwater, oily. Sea trout ££

Sept – Apr

May – Aug

Sardine Pilchard (an adult sardine) Round, coldwater, oily, ideal for grilling. Herring £££

Jul – Mar

Apr – Jun

Oct – Apr

Scabbard fish Sabre fish, silver fish Round, coldwater, unique. ££

Oct – Jul

Aug – Sept

Scallop King/Queen scallop Molluscs (bivalve), sweet delicate flavour, requires minimal cooking. £££

Dec – Feb

Mar

Apr – May

Jun

Jul – Sept

Oct – Nov

Sept – Oct

Sea bass (farmed) Round, warmwater, popular in Chinese and South East Asian cuisine. Gilthead bream ££

Jan – Dec

Jul – Feb

Sea bass (wild) Round, coldwater, ideal for baking or grilling. Gilthead bream ££

May – Feb

Mar – Apr

Striped American sea bass Rockfish Round, farmed bass in freshwater. Gilthead bream ££ Jan – Dec
Snapper Red, emperor, five-line snapper Round, warmwater, pale pink, flaky with a distinctive sweet taste. Emperor, sea bream ££ Jan – Dec
Sprat Round, coldwater, oily and small. Anchovy, sardine £

Apr – Feb

Mar

Nov – Feb

Squid Calamari Cephalopods, can be tender but over cooking can make it rubbery. Cuttlefish, octopus ££

Jul – Jan

Feb – Jun

Tilapia (orange, red and black) Round, freshwater, firm white flesh and mild taste. Sea bream £ Jan – Dec
Trevally Horse mackerel, Jack Round, game, warmwater, marinades help retain moisture during cooking. Kingfish, bonito ££ Jan – Dec
Trout (brown) Round, freshwater, has a delicate sweet flavour, oily fish. Salmon £ Jan – Dec
Trout (rainbow) Round, freshwater, ideal for hot smoking, oily fish. Salmon ££ Jan – Dec
Trout (sea) Salmon trout Round, cold/freshwater, similar appearance to salmon. Brown trout and rainbow trout ££ Jan – Dec
Tuna Yellowfin, skipjack Round, game, warmwater, strong earthy flavour, firm and meaty flesh. Marlin, bonito £ Jan – Dec
Turbot Flat, coldwater, mild flavour, large flakes. Brill £££ Jan – Dec
Wahoo Round, game, warmwater, has a taste and texture similar to chicken. Kingfish, bonito £ Jan – Dec
Whelk Sea snail Molluscs (univalve), juicy meat with a strong flavour and chewy texture. Winkle £

Sept – Jan

Feb – Aug

May – Sept

Whitebait Round, coldwater, cook whole, small and oily fish. Sprat £

Oct – Mar

Apr -Sept Nov – Feb

Whiting Round, coldwater, best when fresh, can easily be overcooked. Any cod-like fish £

Sept – Mar

Apr – Aug

Jul – Feb

Winkle Molluscs (univalve), juicy meat with a strong flavour and chewy texture. Whelk £

Sept – Apr

May – Aug

May – Aug

Witch Torbay sole Flat, coldwater, best cooked on the bone. Megrim, plaice £ Jan – Dec
Wrasse Ballan/cuckoo wrasse Round, coldwater, can lack flavour, cook the same as snapper or sea bream. Snapper £

Nov – Feb

Mar – Apr

May – Aug

Sept – Oct

Zander Pike-perch

Round, freshwater,

better flavour than most other freshwater fish.

Perch, pike ££ Jan – Dec

Availability guide: Good, Varying, Poor, Time of best quality – If not specified specie is of consistent quality all year.
Price guide: £ = Low, ££ = Medium, £££ = High