Wrasse, Goldsinny

Goldsinny Wrasse (Ctenolabrus rupestris)

Irish Record There is currently no record or specimen status for this species in Ireland


The Goldsinny is one of five main Wrasse species encountered around the Irish Coast. It is a tiny species, rarely growing more than a few ounces. The colouration is brown, leading on to lighter flanks with horizontal bands running from the head to the tail. There is a dark spot on the dorsal fin, and another towards the tail.

Photograph kindly donated by Andrew Mcilhone

Where to catch

Found around most of Ireland amongst heavily weeded roc marks, kelp and reef areas.

When to catch

As with all Wrasse, it is typically a summer species.


This species is not a viable target species, and almost always taken by accident. Any that I have caught have always been on very small hooks baited with small pieces of ragworm.

Photograph kindly donated by Andrew Mcilhone


I doubt that any angler will specifically target Goldsinny Wrasse, apart from species competitions or simple curiosity. However, if you wish to catch a Goldsinny, scale the hook size right down to size 8 and try a small piece of ragworm. A herring trace or similar is ideal. Target in-shore reefs and ledges amongst heavy kelp beds and you should find this tiny Wrasse species.

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