Bastard trumpeter are silver-grey in colour with irregular, golden brown longitudinal lines on the upper body. The fins are brownish or grey and adults have a dark margin on the tail fin.
Up to 65 cm and 4 kg.
Small bastard trumpeter or ‘paperfish’ as they are known, form schools over shallow rocky reef areas while larger specimens are found mainly as solitary fish in deeper waters up to 160 metres.
Bastard trumpeter are only occasionally caught on rod and line using baits such as sandworms, prawns or scallop. They are most commonly caught in gillnets and frequently seen around the Tasmanian coast by divers. These fish are highly regarded in most areas of Tasmania for their good eating qualities and because of their appealing colouration.
Responsible fishing tips:
As this fish lives in schools, be careful not to exceed possession limits if using a gillnet. Regularly check your net and release fish carefully.
These fish can have sharp dorsal spines.
Trumpeter have a high oil content, excellent flavour and fine textured, moist flesh. The dark flesh becomes lighter when cooked but does not keep well. Use as fillets or whole. Suitable to bake, barbecue, grill, smoke or shallow fry.Fish illustration by Peter Gouldthorpe