Small And Large Mouth Nannygai
The Great Barrier Reef is blessed with some awesome fish and fishing, and the Nannygai is also another highly prized reef fish ranked amongst them. These fish are known by a few names such as pinkies, Red Jew, Red Snapper, Large mouth sea perch, Scarlet Perch, nanny’s and probably a few other names as well, so please forgive me if I have missed a few.
An impressive fighting fish with the Large Mouth Nannygai, the larger of the two. The Largemouth nannygai can grow to an impressive 13kg +, with our boat record nudging very close to this mark at 12kg. Check out our video below for one impressive fish which will take some beating and one very happy customer. This one went well over 10kg’s.
We regularly catch good numbers of Largemouth Nannygai with average fish around the 5 – 6kg mark, and plenty pushing up to 10 kilos at times. If you can find the school’s in the deep water, you’ll come across some of the most mind blowing fishing you can come across. We’ve had 8 way hook-ups, several times on the same spot, and total kaos!! Now that’s spectacular fishing, with the icebox overflowing, we had to leave the fish biting. Remember only take what you need.
The small mouth nannygai can be found in good numbers as well, and when a school is located, good catches and double hook-ups on the same rig can be common. A beautiful fish, and great eating, arguably slightly better than the largemouth, with a large one growing to about 5 kilo’s, although Grant’s guide says 10kg, but quite common in the 2-3 kilogram range.
It can take a bit to get used to the difference between a small mouth and largemouth nannygai, as they do look similar, but with practice becomes easy. Obviously a largemouth nannygai has a large mouth, with the Small mouth, a smaller mouth, and generally no where near as big in physical size. A large mouth is generally paler, lighter pink in colour with a black dot at the base of the tale. This is a definite giveaway on the largemouth Nannygai. If you can lie one of each species together and the differences become more apparent.
These nannygai are found throughout the Great Barrier Reef preferring the deep shoals and reefs in waters from 30 to 70 metres. Look for deep shoals, wire weed and gravel patches, and a lot of drifting to find the grounds. Red Emperor are a great by catch when targeting these species, as well as Sweetlip, Cod, coral trout, cobia and heaps more, tough to take I Know and makes this type of deep reef fishing very worthwhile.
We use a mix of Squid, Pilchards, small fish and flesh and all produce; make sure your bait’s nice and fresh as possible. These fish can be caught all year round, and in good numbers. Bites can be extremely timid at times, so once again make sure using braid, and as least lead as possible. Can take some patience to hook, and with soft mouths, many fish are lost during the fight, as the hooks often pull.
This is where a smooth rod action, pumping and winding prevent shock loading the hooked fish and pulling the hooks free. Definitely makes a difference, so don’t go crazy, nice smooth rod action and keep a steady pressure when playing that next big fish!!
Size limits of 40 cm for both Nannygai are in place, when fishing the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, with bag limits of 9 per person, which makes up part of your 20 coral reef fin species. Only take what you need, and being good size fish, 9 is heaps anyway. With 35% of the Great Barrier Reef now protected, and tougher bag limits, we are truly blessed with some awesome fishing. Tight lines!!
Hook Your Own Large Mouth Nannygai...
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