Monkfish, sole, turbot and John Dory are the valuable species that beam trawler Sam of Ladram searches for in waters off the South-West, and his crew aim to see a good selection of different species in the fishroom at the end of a trip. This includes species such as gurnards and pouts as well as the higher-value species, as buyers on the auction also want to see a variety.
Sam of Ladram works sets of ten metre beam trawl gear with the usual stone mats, tailored for the grounds and the time of year. For part of the year the gear is rigged with flip-ups for working stonier ground, to keep rocks from ending up in the trawls, and these are taken out for fishing cleaner areas. The trawls are made with 300mm mesh in the back square, then 180mm in the head and go down to 150mm in the bellies, to ensure that juvenile fish and benthos are filtered out.