Wild Shellfish Alert - Do not eat wild shellfish from areas in and around Spring Bay and the Mercury Passage in South East Tasmania.
Most scalefish are measured from the nose to the end of the tail. Get your scalefish measuring ruler or sticker at any Service Tasmania outlet.
Yank flathead, Castelnau's flathead, deepwater flathead, southern flathead, bluespot flathead
The southern bluespotted flathead has a lighter, sandy brown body with scattered small blue to white spots intermingled with dark blotches. The lower tail fin has dark spots surrounded by white. The two spines on the gill cover are of a similar length. It is the largest flathead found in Tasmania.
Flathead have good survival rates when handled correctly, depending on hooks and fishing techniques used. Use circle and barbless hooks on your line and a fish dehooker to quickly return undersize flathead to the water.
Found around the north coast of Tasmania in waters up to 30 metres deep, usually on sandy bottom adjacent to seagrass beds.Fishing information: These large flathead offer a niche fishery in some areas of Tasmania because fish caught tend to be large. They are caught mainly in coastal embayments and inlets along Bass Strait. Fishers are increasingly targeting them using soft plastic lures and flies. May also be encountered at night whilst spearing for flounder.
Beware of short, sharp spines on the flathead’s gill covers and dorsal fin.
Low oil content with a pleasant, sweet flavour. Fine textured flesh which can dry out slightly with some cooking methods but remains moist and flaky when cooked in batter. The long shape of flathead means that it fillets well as most of the bones are at the head section of the fish. Also retains moisture well when cooked as whole fish. Suitable to bake in foil, shallow or deep fry, marinate, poach or steam.
Recipe: Whole BBQ Flathead:
Clean and gut the flathead. No need to skin or fillet!
Place them on some foil, with butter, parsley and lemon or whatever you like in the cavity then wrap them up. Put them on the barbeque, in the oven or under the grill and cook them till they are soft and the skin will peel off when properly cooked. The meat can be pulled off the bone easily, with very little wastage. A great way to stop this fish drying out and getting maximum meat return from your flathead.
How to Increase the Survival of Released Flathead
How to Release Flathead using a Fish De-hooker
Level 3, 134 Macquarie St
Hobart TAS 7000
Phone: (03) 6165 3233, 1300 720 647
GPO Box 44
Phone: (03) 6165 3000, 1300 368 550