Bruce Pearce of Fisherman's Haul with some of the huge catch of red emperor.
Bruce Pearce of Fisherman's Haul with some of the huge catch of red emperor. Craig Warhurst

Big fish makes huge haul

A MASSIVE haul of red emperor caught off Fraser Island by professional fisherman Ivan Jensen has Gympie families sitting pretty for a supreme seafood feed says Bruce Pearce of Fisherman's Haul.

While conservationists and amateur anglers, for different reasons, may blanch at the thought of that many red emperor pulled from the sea, it's a lucky and legal catch for a commercial operation says Bruce.

“It doesn't happen very often,” he said, in between filleting a giant 22kg specimen of the 70 caught.

“It's very rare that you get a decent big one and to get this many and this class of fish - it is a very impressive haul.”

Bruce says most will be sold locally as fillets and there'll be no waste with the heads and offal sold as crab bait and the “wings” for soups and chowders. Jensen ventures much further out than amateur anglers do, although the exact location is a secret never divulged, and he uses pilchards and fresh local mullet fillets as bait.

“He's just a good fisherman and knows what he's doing. You have to go out a long way to get fish like this.”

Seafood lovers should get in fast because Bruce says even this mountain of fillets will sell quickly.

“You can go three lifetimes and never get fish as big and as good as these. This is one of the best eating fish in the world and it's straight from the sea to your plate.”

Gympie Times


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