The Black Bream, sometimes called old wife and baker (Cantharus lineatus), are caught during July and August in shallow waters, but on the approach of autumn retire to the deeps. They are often taken on drift lines, are a strong, handsome fish, and feed more boldly by daylight than the common bream. They take much the same baits, but are not found in such large schools, and in far shallower water.

There are some other varieties of these fish which are more or less uncommon on our coasts. For instance, Couch's Sea Bream (Pagrus vulgaris), which is anything but vulgar, there being so far only a single undoubted British example ; Pagellus Owenii, called by Pennant the Red Gilt-head ; and Pagellus acarne. Naturalists, by the way, do not class the sea bream in the same family with the bream of rivers, the latter belonging to the carps and the former to the Sparida. While in general outline the sea bream resembles the freshwater fish, it differs from it in having a formidable dorsal fin extending nearly the whole length of its back, which is well furnished with spines like that of the perch.