Keen fisho Glen Sherriff was drummer fishing at a favourite South Coast rock ledge recently when he hooked up on a hard-fighting fish that flashed blue in the wash. Thinking he'd hooked a small groper, Glen was surprised to see that the mystery fish was in fact shaped like a drummer. Closer inspection revealed a definite bluish tint with a profusion of small yellow spots, indicating he'd caught a bluefish (Girella cyanea), a close relative of black drummer and luderick. This is a pretty special catch for Glen, as bluefish are rare in NSW coastal waters.
The yellow spots covering the flanks of Glen Sherriff's mystery fish clearly indicate it's a bluefish. A rare and interesting catch, especially for South Coast waters!
South Coast angler Glenn Sherriff with the 34cm bluefish he caught and released recently. The fish's dark colour is probably due to the capture process.
DPI research reveals these pretty fish prefer to live around offshore islands in depths from 5-30m. They grow to a maximum size of 76cm and are known to be long lived. For example, a 52cm bluefish can be up to 39 years old. At 34cm, Glenn's fish was likely to be around 20 years of age. Although rare on the NSW coast, bluefish are common in the waters of Lord Howe Island, where a bag limit of 5 fish per person applies.
Bluefish are a Protected Species and taking or possessing bluefish from NSW waters, other than the waters of the Lord Howe Island Marine Park, is an offence, and heavy penalties apply. After a quick couple of pics, Glenn carefully released his South Coast bluefish to hopefully grow and produce lots of little bluefish.
Remember to report sightings of protected species to us using our on-line reporting tool: www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fishing/species-protection/report-it Source