Butterfish has become very popular in recent years. In the past locals wouldn’t eat it. They will tell you that it has a face and so it isn’t a real fish. However during the past 20 years or so the fish with a face and no scales has become probably the most popular fish of choice for restaurants. It is held in high regard and rightly so, I think it’s probably the best fish I have eaten and I include Barracuda, Salmon, and Cod in the list. I remember being told the story about angry Bob. So named because while trying to remove a hook from the fish’s mouth, the fish removed his finger instead. Ooh!, that had to hurt but taught me early on to be very careful with this weird-looking fish. I have been asked if on occasion if it’s safe to eat because it looks so much like a Fugu. I can say it is as I’ve been eating large quantities of my own catch 😀

Pappa Jon with Butter-fish, White-snapper & a Grouper
Butterfish caught on Gunjur beach

When is the best time to catch?

The Butterfish is available all year in The Gambia. They are powerful swimmers and feed at all stages of the tide, day or night.

Wanna go, see our fishing page.

What do they feed on?

They don’t go for lures preferring crustaceans and mollusks. With muscular powerful jaws and massive crushing teeth, similar to those of the Parrotfish which graze on the coral. They can easily bite through a hook or wire trace as well as fingers as we learned earlier from angry Bob.

Biggest fish caught in The Gambia?

From the boat and beach Butterfish regularly exceed 5 kilo

Biggest personal best?

My personal best was and is 5 kilo, caught from the beach closest to Footsteps.

Life doesn’t get better than this!
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