By micknmal

Rat Kingfish Big King fish and summer

When Summer hits so do the schools of kings. The ones we target along the rocks vary in size and catch amounts day to day, some good days we get over 50 fish and normally take home a few keepers.

Close in along the rocks off Cronulla we have a few techniques that almost always produce some fish and plenty of by catch.

Some by catch of quality are Mako sharks – Gummy Sharks, Trevally, Snapper, Salmon and much more. We just love to find some fish on the screen anchor up drop down the live Yakkas and Slimy Mackerel  and start the ball rolling. some days are better than other catching the beautiful Kingfish and we have seen almost everything Cronulla Port Hacking fishing has to offer and let me tell you – it’s vast, fun.

Just love fishing with Sydney Premium Charters for kings in close to the rocks.

Rat Kingfish Big King fish and summer

 

https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fishing/fish-species/species-list/yellowtail-kingfish 

 

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By micknmal

Pearl Perch

ANIMAL SPECIES:
Pearl Perch, Glaucosoma scapulare Macleay, 1881
The Pearl Perch has a blue-black to grey bony shield projecting from under the upper operculum. The species is an excellent table fish that occurs in eastern Australian coastal waters to depths of 90 m.

A Pearl Perch off Rainbow Beach
Photographer: Dave Harasti © Dave Harasti
Standard Common Name
Pearl Perch
Alternative Name/s
Bull-eye, Epaulette-fish, Nannygai, Pearly
Identification
The Pearl Perch can be recognised by its supracleithrum, the bone that projects as a blue-black to grey bony shield from under the upper operculum. If the thin layer of skin covering the supracleithrum is removed, the pearly-white bone is revealed. The colouration of the supracleithrum is the origin of the common name of this fish.
The Pearl Perch has a robust body, a large mouth and a second dorsal fin which is higher than the first. The body is silvery to grey, and each scale has a small golden brown spot. There is a dark spot at the base of the last dorsal fin rays. A brown line passes diagonally through the eye of juveniles.
Size range
It grows to 70 cm in length.
Distribution
It is endemic to Australia, occurring from the central coast of Queensland to the central New South Wales coast.
The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums.  Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Distribution by collection data
Ozcam map of Pearl Perch specimens in the Australian Museums.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
Habitat
The species lives in coastal waters to depths of 90 m.
Economic/social impacts
The Pearl Perch is a commercial species, which is mostly caught on lines. It is an excellent table fish.
Classification
Species:
scapulare
Genus:
Glaucosoma
Family:
Glaucosomatidae
Order:
Perciformes
Class:
Actinopterygii
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
References
1. Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & G.R. Allen. 2006. Fishes. In Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Australia. parts 1-3, pages 1-2178.
2. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
3. McKay, R.J. 1997. FAO Species Catalogue. Volume 17. Pearl Perches of the World (family Glaucosomatidae). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of the pearl perches known to date. Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations. Rome. Pp. 26.
4. Yearsley, G.K., Last, P.R. & R.D. Ward. 1999. Australian Seafood Handbook, an identification guide to domestic species. CSIRO Marine Research. Pp. 461.

By micknmal

Southern Bluefin Tuna

ANIMAL SPECIES: Southern Bluefin Tuna, Thunnus maccoyii(Castelnau, 1872)

The Southern Bluefin Tuna is a fast-swimming pelagic species that occurs circum-globally in southern temperate waters.

A Southern Bluefin Tuna at a depth of 1 m, in a large floating pen in Boston Bay, Port Lincoln, South Australia, 21 March 2012.

Standard Common Name

Southern Bluefin Tuna

Alternative Name/s

Bluefin, Japanese Central Pacific Bluefin Tuna, SBT, Southern Tuna, Southern Tunny

Identification

The species has relatively short pectoral fins and lacks distinctive body patterning.

Size range

2.25 m (fork length)

Distribution

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Click on the map for detailed information.  Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Thunnus maccoyii

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Southern Bluefin specimens in the Australian Museum.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

Conservation Status

See Further Reading, below.

Classification

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

Further Reading

  1. Australian endangered species: Southern Bluefin Tuna. 2013. Australian endangered species: Southern Bluefin Tuna. [ONLINE] Available at: http://theconversation.com/australian-endangered-species-southern-bluefin-tuna-11636. [Accessed 13 May 2013].
By micknmal

Blue Eye

Blue-eye Trevalla, Hyperoglyphe antarctica (Carmichael, 1818)

The Blue-eye Trevalla is a benthic species that is found on rocky seabeds in continental slope depths. Juveniles tend to be around the midwater to surface level. Highly regarded as a food fish.

A Blue-eye Trevalla caught off Balina

https://australianmuseum.net.au/image/A-Blue-eye-Trevalla-caught-off-Balina/

Photographer: Ian Cameron © Ian Cameron
Standard Common Name
Blue-eye Trevalla

Alternative Name/s
Many common names have been used for this species. These include the Big Eye, Big-eye Trevalla, Blue-eye, Blue-eye Cod, Blue-nose, Bluenose Warehou, Bonita, Bream Trevalla, Deep-sea Trevalla, Griffin’s Silverfish, Sea Trevally, Stoney-eye and Trevalla.

Identification
The Blue-eye Trevalla is a stout bodied fish with a blunt snout and small scales. It has two dorsal fins. The first has short, stout spines, and is joined by membrane to the base of the second dorsal fin, which is higher and longer based. The pectoral fins are falcate and the caudal fin is forked. The head has many small pores.

In life, this species is bluish grey above, grading to grey below. The fins are a dark metallic grey.

Size range
It grows to 1.4 m in length and a weight of 36 kg.

Distribution
It occurs circumglobally in southern temperate marine waters.

In Australia it is known from off south-western Western Australia and off southern Queensland to the central coast of Victoria and Tasmania.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

http://biocache.ala.org.au/ws/density/map?q=Hyperoglyphe+antarctica

Hyperoglyphe antarctica

Distribution by collection data
Ozcam map of Blue-eye Trevalla specimens in the Australian Museum.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

Habitat
The Blue-eye Trevalla is a benthic species that is found on rocky seabeds in continental slope depths.

Economic/social impacts
The Blue-eye Trevalla is sometimes caught by long line and trawlers. It is an excellent eating fish.

By micknmal

Buckets of Pan Size reef fish

Another great day of the reef catching all sorts of fish including snapper, pig fish Grey Morning, flathead and lots lots more with Sydney Premium Charters.
The somewhat perfect day – no wind, no current, deep water lots of fish, BBQ lunch beautiful weather.
Just one of those days where it all came together and created awesome fishing, I wish every day was like this in winter. Snapper were not huge but lots of them.
We lost a Mako Shark at the boat, and lost 20 fish to a very annoying selfish seal, it just simply didn’t care about us wanting to keep our fish The great Australian fat seal just took them, Hook line and sinker…..
but was very funny to watch.
Great days fishing all round, also just to note the whales are coming through in numbers now.
Charter boat Fishing from Cronulla Port hacking some days has it all.


Best charter ever.

By micknmal

Grey Morwong

ANIMAL SPECIES:

Grey Morwong, Nemadactylus douglasii (Hector, 1875)

The Grey Morwong is a good eating fish, found in commercial quantities. It can be recognised by its colour and pectoral fin shape.

Standard Common Name

Grey Morwong

Alternative Name/s

Blue Morwong, Butterfish, Douglas Morwong, Eastern Blue Morwong, Great Perch, Lubra-lip, Mowie, Porae, Rubberlip Morwong, Rubberlip Perch, Silver Morwong

Identification

The Grey Morwong can be recognised by its colour and pectoral fin shape. It is silvery blue, with the upper surface sometimes tinted yellow or brown. The median fins are blue.

Size range

The species grows to 81 cm in length.

Distribution

The Grey Morwong is recorded from southern Queensland to Tasmania and also from New Zealand.

By micknmal

Eastern Pigfish

ANIMAL SPECIES:

Eastern Pigfish, Bodianus unimaculatus(Gunther, 1862)

Male Eastern Pigfish are red above with a pinkish to white region on the side below the dorsal fin rays. The species occurs from southern Queensland to Victoria and also in New Zealand.

Standard Common Name

Eastern Pigfish

Alternative Name/s

Banded Pigfish, Black-spot Pigfish, Eastern Blackspot Pigfish, Pigfish, Reddish Blackspot Pigfish

Identification

Young Eastern Pigfish are pinkish with thin stripes on the sides of the body and red lines on the head.As a fish ages the lines become less evident. Males are red above with a pinkish to white region on the side below the dorsal fin rays. There is a black blotch on the dorsal fin spines.

Size range

The species grows to 45 cm in length.

Distribution

Eastern Pigfish occur from southern Queensland to Victoria and also from New Zealand.

By micknmal

Winter Snapper Off Cronulla Best Charter

Winter time the Larger Breading Snapper come in close to shore to give us the opportunity to catch the fish of a life time.
Sydney Premium Charters has it’s favourite reef system off Stanwell Park to target these big fish, and I’ll tell you some thing we go pretty good most days.

Big Snapper like the one in the picture are highly sort after on fishing Charters off Sydney
Sydney Premium Charters is very consistent with catching large fish from May when the weather allows.
Good tidal flows and cold water see a huge amount of these fish come in for us to target early morning.
Deep Sea fishing comes with catches of Pearch Pig Fish King fish and sharks.

Check out the snapper on the web site for your chance at a beauty.

By micknmal

Squid turned Calamari !!!! Yum and fun.

Catching squid from the rocks for bait or the table sounds like a good plan

SECTION: feature

MAPS:

Facts

 

Despite the fact that calamari squid are very common along the NSW coastline, not a lot of people seem to pursue them.

They make first-class bait for a range of species, including jewfish, kings and snapper and are superb table fare.

The southern calamari squid prefers oceanic water and is most abundant over inshore reefs, close to the ocean rocks and the lower reaches of large bays and inlets. They differ from another common species, the arrow squid, which is more at home in our estuary systems.

Calamari are more like a football in shape, with wings that run the length of the body. Arrows, as the name suggests, have a more pointed body shape with triangular wings that are about half the length of the body.

Calamari grow much larger, with specimens of 2kg or 3kg reasonably common. They also have quite large eyes, with a prominent green ‘eyebrow’, which is why another name for them is the ‘green eye’ squid.

Although it’s not hard to catch good numbers of calamari from a boat, it’s probably more convenient for most of us to do it from the ocean rocks.

Having spent some time along the North Coast, I understand that not all headlands or rocks are suitable. However, the Central Coast, Sydney and South Coast are blessed with some very user-friendly rock platforms that are ideal places to catch calamari.

A good calamari spot needs to be safe, which works out well, because calamari prefer calmer water rather than washy, wave-lashed spots.

A reefy bottom is essential, so there’s no point in casting out over sand. Calamari also prefer areas with plenty of kelp growth, rather than just bare rock.

As for depth, that doesn’t really matter so much, as long as it’s not so shallow that a squid jig will snag up just after it splashes down. Most of my favourite spots are between 2m and 4m deep.

To help work out where and what you’re looking at when selecting a spot to try, polarised sunglasses are a must. Obviously, bottom structure may be hard to see in really deep water but on a sunny day around low tide, most bottom structure is visible.

SQUIDDING GEAR

A lightweight threadline outfit is the best bet when it comes to chasing calamari off the rocks. A 3m blackfish or whiting rod and a small to mid-sized threadline like a 3000 size spooled up with 4kg to 6kg braid or mono will do the trick. A shorter rod will be fine if you’re standing right at the water’s edge, without more rocks in front of you.

Basically, the rod needs to have a light sort of tip to help cast the squid jigs and absorb the pressure exerted on the legs of the hooked calamari. If you’re not careful, a bit too much force with a stiff rod can tear the soft leg of the squid and then it’s gone and won’t come back.

Although squid can simply be lifted onto the rocks, I’ve found that a long-handled landing net means a lot more squid are landed. In fact, these days I don’t go squidding without my landing net.

When using braid it’s important to employ a 2m leader of fluorocarbon or mono, because squid have very keen eye sight. There are specialist fluorocarbons on the market which have been designed with squidding in mind, so they may be worth investing in if you really get into this game. I’ve been using 4kg to 7kg Sunline fluorocarbon and favour the Sunline FC Rock, it’s very hard-wearing around the rocks.

One area where it pays not to skimp out is with the squid jigs. It’s plain and simple – higher quality squid jigs catch more squid and last longer. Sizes from 2.5 up to 4.5 can be used off the rocks, but in most cases a size 3 or 3.5 is perfect.

On the subject of sizes, it’s been proven that larger jigs will catch larger calamari, but the big ones aren’t always present so that’s why it’s a good idea to start off with a 3 or 3.5.

Squid jigs come in a wide variety of colours and styles. When using the basic style of jig, I’ve found pink or orange work better than blue or green. Over the past six months, though, I’ve been using Yamashita Naturals, which come in several different more natural-looking colours. These are very high quality jigs and they also have quite a reflective sheen that glimmers in the water. Of these, I favour the more golden or bronzy colours.

Another Yamashita model that has come in very handy is the Oh Q Sen, which is a slow-sinking squid jig. After getting frustrated with snagging and losing jigs in some of the shallow spots I squid at, I tried these and haven’t lost one yet.

TIME, TECHNIQUE

Calamari can be caught throughout the day at any stage of the tide. The best times, however, are around sunrise or sunset, when they come out looking for a feed and are easier to catch.

In some places a low tide may be best so that you can get closer to reef or kelp while other spots may be better at high tide because they are simply too shallow at low.

The technique is pretty straightforward.

Simply cast out and allow the jig to sink down towards the reef or kelp. Obviously, the aim isn’t to snag up but the closer to the bottom structure you can get the jig, the greater the chances of it taking a squid’s interest.

Once the jig has reached the desired depth, give it a couple of sharp twitches with the rod and then pause for a few seconds. Keep repeating this process until the jig nears the rocks in front of you.

Try to avoid too much slack line during the retrieve so it’s easy to feel when a squid grabs the jig. When it does grab, give a gentle strike to set the hook but don’t strike too heavily, as that may simply rip the jig out.

Keep the pressure on and if it’s a big calamari, allow it to pulsate on the line rather than trying to bully it in. As it nears the rocks, it should come up to the surface and spurt out some black ink. Now it’s time to slip the landing net under it or wash it out with the wave action.

At this stage, make sure the squid is pointing away from you because there’s a good chance it will spurt out more ink and you don’t want a faceful of this horrific black mess.

Just pick it up, remove the jig and give it a sharp tap on the head to quickly and humanely dispatch it. Store the calamari in a cool place until you’re ready to go home.

If they are intended to be used for bait, I find it’s best to keep them intact and store them in a freezer bag. That way all the fish-attracting black ink and gut stays in the calamari.

If, however, they are for the dinner table, it’s a good idea to clean them on the spot rather than making a mess back at home.

A long-handled landing net comes in handy when squidding off the rocks

By micknmal

RED GURNARD Favorite To Eat

ANIMAL SPECIES:
Red Gurnard, Chelidonichthys kumu (Cuvier, 1829)

The Red Gurnard has brightly coloured pectoral fins that are used for display or startling potential predators.

Standard Common Name
Red Gurnard

Identification
The Red Gurnard has a bony head and a blunt snout that lacks spines. The body is covered with tiny cycloid scales. A row of enlarged scales forming thorn-like bucklers is present along the bases of both dorsal fins.

The species is red-brown to grey-brown above and pale below. The body has scattered red-brown blotches. The pectoral fins are greenish-grey with light blue spots. The margin is pale blue and there is a black blotch with white dots near the base.

Size range
The Red Gurnard grows to 50 cm in length.

Distribution
The species is known from temperate marine waters of the Indo-West Pacific.

In Australia it occurs from southern Queensland, around the south of the country and north to the central coast of Western Australia.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Chelidonichthys kumu

Distribution by collection data
Ozcam map of Red Gurnard specimens in the Australian Museums.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

Habitat
It is known from shallow sandy beaches and estuaries (as juveniles) down to a depth of around 200 m.

It is most often encountered in trawler catches but is sometimes caught on hook and line.

Other behaviours and adaptations
It is believed that the fish will flair its brightly coloured pectoral fins as a display or to startle potential predators.

Classification
Species:kumuGenus:ChelidonichthysFamily:TriglidaeOrder:ScorpaeniformesClass:ActinopterygiiSubphylum:VertebrataPhylum:ChordataKingdom:Animalia

By micknmal

Bluespotted Flathead

The temperate marine flatheads can be quite a challenge to identify. The Bluespotted Flathead usually has scattered blue spots on the back and a distinctive pattern of dark blotches on the tail.

Standard Common Name
Bluespotted Flathead

Alternative Name/s
Eastern Blue-spotted Flathead, Longnose Flathead, Red Spotted Flathead, Sand Flathead

Identification
The Bluespotted Flathead can be recognised by its sandy colour, scattered blue spots, and the series of elongated dark blotches on the tail. The blotches become progressively larger towards the bottom of the fin. The lower preopercular spine is distinctly longer than the upper.

Size range
The species grows to 68 cm in length.

Distribution
The species is officially recorded from southern Queensland to eastern Victoria but may occur as far west as eastern South Australia.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Platycephalus caeruleopunctatus

Distribution by collection data
Ozcam map of Bluespotted Flathead specimens in the Australian Museums.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

Habitat
The Bluespotted Flathead is found on sandy bottoms from shallow coastal bays and estuaries to well offshore.

Feeding and Diet
It eats crustaceans and other fishes.

Economic/social impacts
The Bluespotted Flathead is a commercial trawl species which is marketed in Australia under the name Blue-spotted Flathead.