The Shanny

IMG_3253In the unofficial hierarchy of rock-pooling, having ticked off shore crab, shrimp and then the butterfish (see Bits and Pieces Issue 6) the next target in the list is the shanny. Also known as the common blenny or seafrog, the shanny (Lipophrys pholis) is a fearsome looking fish with more than a passing resemblance to a bullhead.

They skulk in the darker corners of rock pools, looking out for invertebrates and marine worms that make up their diet. They have an amazing set of teeth, like tight rows of needles, and will happily nibble on a finger given the chance. It is a curious pain (Fishpool speaks from experience) and though rarely bloody, certainly best avoided. The name ‘seafrog’, comes from their ability to survive out of water. Providing they remain damp, shannys can crawl out of rock pools and can be spotted sitting on exposed rocks. If disturbed, they will jump, frog-like, back into the water.

They can be caught on rod and line with either bait on a size 10 hook or a Light Rock Fishing outfit. With the British record standing at around 4oz you probably won’t need a landing net…

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