A well known food fish, this species is widely distributed about our shores in depths from
A few metres down to about 240 metres on any kind of ground. It is subject to heavy fishing pressure and is now more abundant in deeper water.
Its colour is variable, usually shades of grey-blue to grey- brown. The food taken is anything of suitable size, mostly other fishes, but including crabs and prawns. Rattails of various species are commonly found in its stomach. The more slender form, pointed head and protruding jaw distinguish this species from its deep-water relative, the bass.
Groper is a widely used alternative name. Mostly fished for over deepwater reefs, particularly in the winter months.
Hapuku fishing is regarded as more of a food-harvesting exercise than sportfishing. However, hapuku hooked in shallow water, where they cannot be disabled by pressure changes, will give an excellent account of themselves.
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