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.
The sergeant baker has red to bright orange mottling on the flanks and head, a yellowish to white underside and orange eyes. Its fins are yellow with red, orange and brown blotches. In males, the dorsal fin is long and threadlike but not so in females. This large-mouthed species is able to change colour to suit bottom habitat.
Many fishers prefer to catch and release this bony species rather than go to the effort of cleaning and preparing it. Consider admiring the colour of the fish and releasing it.
Found around reefs, sea grasses and rocky outcrops down to 250 metres.
Sergeant baker are an ambush predator who will take a variety of flesh baits and once hooked they give a reasonable fight. They are occasionally caught near shallow coastal reefs or whilst flathead fishing. Divers may notice this relatively common species when they display inquisitive behaviour such as perching on the sea floor with their head up.
They do have small sharp teeth so care needs to be taken in removing hooks.
These fish are edible and quite tasty but very bony. Consider fish soups or steaming to allow the flesh to separate from the numerous bones.
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