GROPER, WESTERN BLUE
Also Known As:
Western Blue Groper; Blue Groper; GROPER, WESTERN BLUE
Blue Gropers (both the Eastern and Western) are actually Wrasses and second largest of the Wrasse Group. These are sort after fish for rock fisherman.
How To Identify:
Both Eastern and Western Blue Gropers are actually Wrasses however it has been known as a Blue Groper (with no relation to the true Groper) for so long that it will probably stay that way. Male Blue Gropers are exactly as their name suggests - a bluish colour (which is usually a dull blue colour). Female Western Blue Gropers are a green colour, this separates them from the Eastern Blue Gropers who are a red-brown colour. Blue Groper have a fleshy type mouth with pig like teeth for crushes crabs and sea urchins. Western Blue Gropers can grow larger than their Eastern Cousin to about 1.6 meters and well over 50kgs - but don't expect to land one that size very easily!
How To Catch:
Blue Groper are usually targeted by rock fisherman however occasionally target by smaller boat fisherman that don’t mind fishing close to the rocks. Tackle needs to be quite strong to stop the Gropers rushing back to their favourite hole. A typical long rock rod of about 3 to 3.5 meters long will do. Alvey style reels are still very popular with Blue Groper anglers however a quality spin reel in the 4000 - 6000 size is ideal as well. Line needs to be about 15kgs or stronger if you want any level of consistent success with these hard fighting fish. Best bait is the bait you find in the rocky areas they live such as crabs, cunji and other shellfish. They will sometimes take prawns or other bait intended for bream or other rock fish.
Blue Gropers (both the Eastern and Western) are found along reefy, rock lined stretches of the Southern Australian Coastline. They stay close to holes and crevices where they quickly try and retreat to when hooked. As well as a place to retreat to Blue Gropers look for an area with plenty of crabs and cunji The Eastern Blue Groper is found from Southern Queensland to Wilsons Promontory in Victoria, and the Western Blue Groper is found from about Port Philip Bay in Victoria right around to southern Western Australia