cockney bream, red bream, squire, old man, pink snapper, pinkieScientific name: Pagrus auratus
Illustration by Peter Gouldthorpe
: Snapper are pink in colour and when adult have a hump-headed appearance. The hump develops in both sexes but is more prominent in males. The top, tail and side fins are pink and the bottom fins are pale pink to white. Juvenile snapper possess numerous blue spots over the body.
Up to 1.3 meters and 20 kg.
Young snapper occur in open water over the continental shelf and then enter bays and estuaries when about 1 cm in length. Adults are found on both deeper offshore reefs and inshore reefs, estuaries, bays and beaches. They are a bottom dwelling fish that feeds around reefs and in deep holes.
Snapper is probably the most prized reef fish caught in southern and south eastern Australian waters. They can be tough fighters because when hooked, they run hard and deep with the line back to their reef. Snapper form schools in shallow water to spawn when water temperatures pass 18°C. Their growth is slow, many of the larger fish being over 20 years old. Usually taken using a paternoster rig with fresh bait strips.
Responsible fishing tips:
Log any sightings with Redmap
Snapper is a mild to medium sweet flavoured fish, with firm white flesh and a low oil content. They are easy to fillet because the bones are large and easily removed. A very versatile fish which can be pan fried, barbequed, grilled or broiled, steamed and baked.