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At that size I's say it was on its first return to the river. Names for fish like this differ locally: I'd call it a "finnock".
Its a bit bigger than a finnock Thistle, it was 1.5lb. Its a non runner this year. It was caught off the beach while bass fishing. A hen fish with undeveloped ovaries so it wont be spawning until late 2013 at the earliest.
Any sea trout spawning this year will be up the river, most have already spawned by now.
Obviously misjudged size based on the size of your thumb.
Thought it was a bit out of season to be caught in the river (and be admitted to!)
I suppose finnock size could be a bit subjective but Ive always thought it refered to half pound to 1lb sea trout, 1 lb being quite a large one with most around the 12ounces. Would that be similar to your own experience?
Yes as you say it is completely out of season for river or sea. An infrequent by catch of sea angling. It was only kept as it had the sandeel bait and large aberdeen hook too deep to be removed. Unreleasable in the circumstances and far too good to discard. Whole fish pic to be added as an edit....
Yes, that's about the size range I'd expect for a finnock.
As a matter of interest, what sort of condition was it in? I'd expect those in the rivers to be pretty thin by now.
Its a sleek enough sea trout but grand red flesh on it. It is presently in the oven. Not showing any signs of having been in fresh water this year, virtually certain it hasnt spawned this year. Itd be an early one back out of the river if it had and it isnt showing any sign of deterioration you would expect from being in the river for several months. If it had recently left a river its flesh would be an off white yellowish colour and not the nice deep pink that it is. See pic added.
Lat/Lng: 55.2057, -6.2258
OS grid ref: NW312983