flathead and reef fish

We had a nice day with a box of mixed reef fish and flathead

And we had a great crew with Steve from Oatley, Dave from New Zealand, Ben from South Korea, Adrian and John from Melbourne. Adrian and John are staying in Cronulla for a six week training program. They are working for Boeing in Australia who is building the graphite wings for the 737 and 777 aircrafts. Good work for Australia!

So they all took the opportunity to go fishing with us today. It was a beautiful morning with clear sky and sunrise around 7:00. Today we had no luck with our trolling sessions so we won’t have tuna or kingfish for dinner. But the reef worked a bit better and then also our drift for sand flathead. John’s best was 47 cm and the others very close to that size.

As you probably know, flathead are characterised by their flattened bodies’ broad, spade-like heads, large mouths and fine teeth. Sets of sharp spines covered in mildly venomous mucus are located on the gill covers. Watch out for those spines, Steve knows, he was bleeding from a cut! The flathead’s belly is almost always creamy or white and they are sometimes full of roe. We like that for Taramosalata, you know it as a Greek favorite dish.

We find flathead off the Royal National Park (south of Sydney), offshore on sandy or gravel bottoms. Today they were in 22 to 25 metres.
The colour of raw flathead is white. When cooked, the flesh is tender to firm and flakes easily. They have a low fat content and have a distinct, mild flavour. They are a highly rated table fish with firm, white and flaky flesh. They are best suited to recipes which help to maintain moisture content in the flesh while cooking.

For us they are great as ‘fish and chips’, the traditional preparation is covering it in a light batter and then deep frying and serving with chips and a quality mayonnaise. And it is always nice with some fresh lemon or dill. With that, perhaps a glass of chilled white wine?

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