Tasmanian Trumpeter are an elongated, flattened, yellowish-green fish with three longitudinal stripes along the upper half of their body. Their fins are bright yellow. They are reported to grow to 1.2m and about 25kg and live for about 30 years.
These fish produce large numbers of eggs. Typically a fish of 3.2kg can produce 100,000 eggs. Females reach maturity at around 45cm or 5 years old, while males reach maturity at around 53cm or 8 years old.
How To Identify:
This species can be distinguished from all other latrids and cheilodactylids (and most percoids) by having anal fin soft rays 26-30; vertebrae 16+21 = 37; a striped body colour pattern comprising three dark bands running longitudinally on the upper body and onto the opercular series and head, with a broader faint band on the flank and a narrow dorsal median band running along the nape and head in front of the dorsal fin.
How To Catch:
Drifting over deep offshore reefs is the best way to cover ground and find the schools. Trumpeter are rarely caught in any water shallower than 140m.
Most effective bait is octopus, which you should put in boiling water for a minute to make peeling the skin off easier. Small portions are put in bags and then into the freezer. Other good baits include squid, tuna and gurnard the fresher often the better. Bait jigs or flies will also catch stripeys, the only downfall is that some off the shelf bait jigs do not always have a strong enough hook or trace. Making your own bait jigs is a good option using some of the different coloured fish hairs and trout fly tying gear available. A 4/0-5/0 stainless steel hook with 50-100lb monofilament trace is suitable. One other essential piece of equipment is either a very sharp but small gaff hook or landing net, as many fish are lost at the surface once all the hard work has been done.
Tasmanian Trumpeter is found in Australia, New Zealand and South American waters.
Tasmanian Trumpeter inhabit the offshore reefs off the Victorian, Tasmanian, southern N.S.W. (Montague Island), South Australia and W.A. (off Albany) coasts.