The Crystal Sea specialises in catching John Dory, this great tasting and unique fish is a valuable part of our yearly catch.
It’s not easy pursuing the dory’s as they can often prove to be quite elusive and difficult to predict where they will be, but we use the state of the tides to determine where we shoot our nets.
The John Dory’s catch their prey by sitting in the tide and when a sardine passes their mouth they suck the fish into their huge mouth by contracting their jaws very rapidly. The dory is also a lovely looking fish with a large round mark on either side of its body, which is said to be the thumbprint of St. Peter, but it also acts to look like a large eye on the side of the fish, so that a predator thinks that it is looking at the head of a much larger fish.
They also have large spikes protruding from the top of their bodies, which are harmless but we have to watch our fingers when we handle them.
The John Dory season lasts from mid march through to November as they prefer the warmer waters in the south west and the majority of the Dory’s caught in the British isles are from Cornwall. In the winter the dory’s head further south to deeper water to breed. With us being a bottom trawler the best hauls of dory’s are normally the dawning hauls, with the sardines (the John Dory’s prey) being up in the water column by night as the light comes into the sky they drop down to the seabed this is when the Dory’s having better eyesight can catch them more easily.
Storing the catch