A LOCAL fisherman got a pleasant surprise while he was out fishing for mackerel and he hooked a colourful visitor to the shores of West Cork.
Mike Leonard, who is from Kilkilleen, was fishing in his boat off Sherkin Island and Cape Clear when he hauled a multicoloured cuckoo wrasse on board. The cuckoo wrasse is a species of wrasse native to the eastern Atlantic ocean from Norway to Senegal, including the Azores and Madeira.
Mike’s daughter Grace told The Southern Star: ‘It’s the first time he has caught a fish like this and it is quite unusual as they are normally found in the Northern Atlantic or Mediterranean. My father was using a fishing line with mackerel feathers and they were in about 40-60ft of water,’ she said.
‘The fish itself was about a foot long and too small to eat, so against the wishes of his crew who wanted to bring it home to show the kids, he decided to spare it and let it go to live another day.’