Rare Opah Dory Caught at Skegness

Opah-Whole Annals of Sporting. very rare and peculiarly beautiful fish, called the Opah Dory, or King’s Fish, was caught on the 29th ult. off Skegness, Lincolnshire, by some fishermen of that place.This superior species is a native of Africa, though it is sometimes met with in the Mediterranean and Northern seas. Its form somewhat resembles the fish called John Dory, though it is much superior, both as regards its size and the diversity of its colours.—lt exceeds in size every other fish of its species, the one caught off Skegness measuring upwards of three feet length, and nearly two feet in breadth. Its appearance is very handsome, and the colours of the skin are especially worthy of notice: the ground is a bright green, shaded by a brilliant blue, and when seen in different positions it appears diversified with red, thus exhibiting the splendid colours of the rainbow, varied by numerous large white oval spots, and the whole forming a striking contrast with the fins and tail, which are of a bright scarlet.—The fish is entirely destitute teeth, the absence of which is compensated for by the peculiar structure of the tongue, which is thickly set with prickles pointing backwards, so that any food may easily be retained or passed down the throat, but would present an insurmountable obstacle to any food repassing its surface. The breast bone is remarkably prominent, and resembles in appearance the keel of a vessel. The extreme rarity of this beautiful production of nature In these climates may be inferred from the fact that only three of its kind are recorded to have been hitherto caught the British coast; the last one was caught in the year 1752 off Torbay, in Cornwall, and now preserved the British Museum.

Source:  Cambridge Chronicle and Journal – Friday 07 October 1825


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