© Tasmanian Government. Image Peter Gouldthorpe
Season: Open all year

bag limit30


possession limit60


boat limit-

(mackerel and redbait species combined)

Guide to symbols

bagBag Limit
housePossession Limit
boatBoat Limit

Minimum size


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.

Other names

pearlfish, bonnetmouth, red baitfish

Scientific name

Emmelichthys nitidus

Grows to

Up to


Identifying features

​Redbait are an elongate, round-bodied fish that look similar to pilchards but can be differentiated by the red tinges around its fins and flanks. They are silvery in colour with blue tints on the back and a pink stripe on the head and flanks.


Redbait are found schooling in pelagic waters from the surface to 100 metres deep around upwellings where nutrient rich waters provide plankton on which they feed. Around Tasmania, they can be found associated with schooling pilchards and mackerel.

Fishing information

Usually caught as bait and then used to target fish such as tuna, shark and barracouta. Redbait are an important species in the marine food chain providing a food source for many of the ocean’s predatory fish.


Redbait are small fish, however they can be smoked or skewered whole and chargrilled over an open fire.


Fishwatch Report illegal fishing

0427 655 557

What to report? arrow button

Contact us

Recreational Fishing

Level 3, 134 Macquarie St

Hobart TAS 7000

Phone: (03) 6165 3233, 1300 720 647


Commercial Fisheries

Level 3, 134 Macquarie St

GPO Box 44

Phone: (03) 6165 3000, 1300 368 550


Commercial Fisheries Licensing

Level 1, 134 Macquarie St

GPO Box 44

Phone: (03) 6165 3000, 1300 368 550