Perch, Mouri Sea

(Lutjanus rivulatus)

Commonly referred to as ?

The Mouri sea perch as its name suggests is a tough, rugged species of fish with beautifully coloured striped markings across its broad head. They are generally encountered as a by catch through out northern Australia and are famous for their powerful fighting abilities over shallow, rugged terrains.

Distribution

Mouri sea perch can be located from as far south as Coral Bay right up to the magnificent Kimberley region throughout Western Australia and are also found in northern QLD and the Northern Territory.

Growth

Mouri sea perch can grow to around 90cm in length and weigh as much as 12kg although most fish encountered throughout Australia average around 4 – 6kg in weight.

Habitat

Mouri sea perch prefer shallow, tropical waters from 10 – 30 meters in depth with healthy coral reef present. They also seem to like steep coral drop offs and pinnacles.

Identification

Mouri sea perch can be easily identified by their bright golden and yellow striped markings  which are present through out the entire head of the fish particularly the fore head. They posses a powerful paddle shaped tail and a broad, powerful body. The mouth is full of crushing style teeth designed for feeding on molluscs and crustaceans.

Taste rating

  • Seventy Taste Rating
    70%

Mouri sea perch are members of the ever so tasty Lutjanud family and would probably be great eating although I personally prefer to release such stunning looking specimens!

Sport rating

  • Ninety Sport Rating
    90%

Mouri sea perch are a powerful species that will give their best all the way to the boat.

Tackle requirements

Medium to heavy spin or overhead tackle is well suited to targeting mouri sea perch with medium to heavy strength braided, gel spun or nylon lines with a breaking strain of 30 – 80lb proving ideal. 80 – 150lb nylon leaders should be attached to bright braided or gel spun lines to prevent fish from seeing the line and also to help prevent chafe offs on rough structures. Medium to heavy bottom fishing or jigging outfits in either spin or overhead styles are more typically suited for fishing deeper water to 50 meters.

Recommended baits, lures and rigs

Most standard bottom fishing baits such as cut fish strips, squid and octopus will suffice for most crimson sea perch situations with lures such as soft plastics and metal jigs also proving deadly on this species in northern waters. Paternoster or drift baiting style rigs made from 80 – 100lb nylon or fluoro carbon are ideal for targeting mouri sea perch in shallow northern waters.

Handy hints and tips

Try to use as fresh a bait as possible and present it in a long strip styled fashion with two snelled hooks. Most importantly remember to let the fish eat it! Don’t pull it away at the first sign of interest.

Preferred fishing times and tides

Low light periods such as dawn and dusk with a rising tide are best for targeting mouri sea perch in shallow areas, neep tides are also necessary the further north you travel!

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