The saddled seabream (Oblada melanura), also called the saddle bream or oblade, is a species of fish of the family Sparidae. It is monotypic in the genus Oblada. Occhiata – Oblada melanura – IntotheBlue.it – Sparidae
It has a fuse-shaped blueish-silver body, with a black spot near the tail. The maximum length recorded for this species is 34 centimetres (13 in), and maximum recorded weight is 0.6 kilograms (1.3 lb). Commonly specimens are around 20 centimetres (7.9 in). The mouth is relatively small, with lower jaw being little bit in front of the upper jaw.
It is a gregarious fish, spawning in June and July. The saddled seabream is an omnivorous fish, but feeds mainly on small invertebrates. Occhiata – Oblada melanura – IntotheBlue.it – Sparidae
Distribution and habitat
It is found over seagrass and rocky bottoms in the Mediterranean Sea, Bay of Biscay, Madeira, Cape Verde, Canary Islands and Strait of Gibraltar to Angola.
It can be found between 0 and 30m, but more commonly between 5 and 20m. Often can be found near surface, not far away from the shore.
It is important food fish, often found fresh on local fish markets. It is caught in fish traps and various nets all year long. Bait in traps are various fresh and/or salted fish and fish chunks.
Saddled seabream can be hooked day and night, but much better during night. It will bait on bread, cheese, paste, fish chunks, mussels, but best results can be achieved using live bait like live prawns.
When trolling near the shore, it is commonly caught on lures mimicking small Mediterranean sand smelts, various mullets or prawns.