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.
grassy flathead, smooth flathead
The rock flathead has a dark mottled appearance, including a green to pale brown rounded body and several rows of dark spots along the rays of the yellowish tail. The lower spine on the gill cover is shorter than the upper spine.
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.
Commonly found over sheltered or moderately exposed seagrass beds and on flat, vegetated reefs in depths between 1-20 metres.
The rock flathead is the most highly regarded of flathead species for its flavour. It occurs in small localised populations and is most active at dusk. Now more commonly taken with rod and line using soft plastic lures over seagrass beds.
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: Crusty Parmesan Flathead:
¾ cup breadcrumbs; ¼ cup parmesan cheese (processed or fresh), grated; ¼ cup natural or Greek yoghurt; 500g flathead fillets; 1 ½ tbsp olive oil.Combine parmesan and breadcrumbs in a bowl. Place yoghurt into a separate bowl and dip flathead fillets in to coat. Dip into breadcrumb mix, coating fish well. Heat oil to medium heat in a non-stick frying pan. Cook fish, in batches, for 2 to 3 minutes each side or until golden and cooked through.
How to Increase the Survival of Released Flathead
How to Release Flathead using a Fish De-hooker
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