Fish Species of North Queensland
Also members of the Litjanus family, the Small Mouth Nannygai and the Large Mouth Nannygai are two very similar fish that complete the trio more commonly just called “reds”, along with the Red Emperor.
Apart from counting scales the fish can be identified by the mouth shape and size as their common name implies. Large mouth are considered the better eating of the two and will grow to a larger size, fish to 30 lb (13.6 kg) are common. The small mouth can obtain a weight of 22 lb (10 kg) and both fish can be pulled from the same school.
More readily caught during the cooler months and at night from the deep water, 30 fathoms, these fish fight all the way to the boat. During day light hours only those very experienced of fisherman know their haunts and try extensively to guard their secret location. The advent of quality sounders and GPS technology proving nothing is sacred anymore.
Techniques identical to that required for Red Emperor, heavy gear / hand lines / sturdy rod and the standard dropper rig works best and once fish have been hooked the school can be kept in the area.
I have actually seen these fish follow their hooked brothers / sisters to within fifteen feet of the boat and as long as you keep catching, the excited vibrations will entice the school to remain until the bag or self imposed limit is easily reached.
Prime eating fish, handle with quality not quantity in mind. Size and bag limits apply.