Fish Species Of North Queensland
Tarpon – Megalops cyprinoides
These little balls of silver muscle are a smaller cousin to the much sought after and highly prized sport fish caught in the America’s. Although they look exactly the same in appearance as their Northern Hemisphere cousin, they grow to a maximum of eight pounds here in Australia, with most fish caught in the three to four pound range.
They can be caught in our rivers and tidal estuaries, both salt and fresh water, and readily take small flies, lures, chrome slices and jigs. They offer a spectacular fight on light spinning outfits (three kilo is ample) or fly tackle and will jump repeatedly to try and throw the lure / fly. Soft hands are required here, as they have an uncanny knack of throwing the lure during these aerial displays
They tend to congregate in deeper holes and back eddies and their tell tale bubbles and tailing usually gives their presence away. Rated very highly as a light tackle sport fish.
They are a useful by-catch when bait fishing our salt water estuaries and will take small fresh or dead prawns, sardines or strip flesh baits fished on a standard running sinker rig, 1/0 – 2/0 hook and heavy mono leader.
Commonly called Oz-Eye Herring in some northern centres these fish are full of fine bones and not considered an edible species.