I’ve caught many Red Emperor, but, they have always been undersized. They come up for a quick photo shoot, and we have to say goodbye. I must admit, however, It’s so exciting every time I catch one because one day, one will come home with me! It will be my ultimate catch. Here’s what I read about the infamous fish:
The Red Emperor will give the fisherman an incredible workout, battling the distance to the vessel, yet nothing will set you up for seeing this splendidly stamped example as it shimmies towards the surface in the clear water.
An incredibly great looking fish, the big ones (apparently) visit the deep waters and channels amid the cooler months from May to September and can be up to 20kg.
Red Emperor varies from salmon pink to red; its pink fins tipped in bright blood red or red, and three distinct darker red bands around its face, pectoral fins and back.
With regards to its superb appearance, its eating qualities are no less amazing.
Reds will, for the most part, gather in large schools of comparatively sized fish, and once fishers have been snared to a few fish, the school can be kept in the region by the angling action. They are more likely to be caught in the night hours, but some charter owners have ‘secret’ spots that they keep to themselves during the daylight hours.
To get one, use a strong hand line system or jigging pole, and the standard dropper rig. Fish or squid work best and use a hook the right size for the fish. Bleeding and icing down will keep them fresh until you’re back ashore. Size and bag limits apply.
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From the Queensland Fish Guide by Frank Prokop
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