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Andrew_P last won the day on April 17

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About Andrew_P

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    Estuary and Coastal Fishing
    Offshore and Reef Fishing
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  1. @Junky that’s my mate’s boat. I haven’t fished out of it yet - I took the photo from the other boat. Yeah they look pretty raked back now you mention it. He travels with his rods on the deck so don’t think he’s lost any yet. Bound to be some sword crossing with 4 guys on a boat!
  2. Update: we’ve let the otoliths dry out for three weeks or so, and blocked them (one of each species) in polyester resin. The drying makes the rings more obvious. The reason we block them is so we can cut a section through the centre of the otolith with a low speed saw without crushing the otolith material. Two more weeks for the resin to harden then we will cut the sections. I’ll put some pics up of the rest of the process.
  3. @DropBear it’s the top of the spine where it meets the skull. Love the cracking sound
  4. So here’s a bit of interesting info. In my report I said the hussar measured 50cm on the boat. In the lab the frame measured 48cm total length. Fish do shrink after death, especially when placed on ice. There have been numerous studies done in Australia showing this, including on Qld species like coral trout. Fish can shrink around 2cm in the first 48 hours. Cool hey!
  5. Video of the extraction
  6. Ok my mate Tyson whipped the ear bones (called otoliths) out of the Moses and hussar today. Otoliths are like our ear bones - they help fish stay upright in the water and hear sounds. You might have heard or seen the “jewels” from mulloway - these are their otoliths. They come in all shapes, sizes and thicknesses depending upon the type of fish’s habitat and behaviours. They sit in a cavity under the brain (slightly behind and above the top of the eye) so depending on the species of fish you can access them from the top (by scalping the fish) or from underneath. For the hussar and Moses Tyson cut away the gills and went from underneath. We use bone cutters to prise open the cavity, and the otoliths can be plucked with some fine tweezers. Some species’ otoliths (ie mackerel, tailor, bream) can be viewed whole under a microscope, but fish like snapper, pearl perch, mulloway, red emperor, Moses and hussar need to be set in a block of polyester resin and a thin slice cut using a low speed saw. The slice is then mounted on a slide and viewed under a microscope. The otolith displays growth rings (like in the trunk of a tree) and show periods of fast growth (wide, clear material) and slow growth (narrow, opaque rings) that corresponds with annual cycles. There’s a bit of science to determine whether a fish species lays down annual rings, but generally this applies for most fish. So now we have the otoliths of these two fish out, we have a bit more work putting them in blocks and slicing them before we can estimate their age. I’ll post the next steps as I get round to them.
  7. @Drop Bear I’ll take some pics of the process. When I’m not fishing or parenting I dabble in a bit of science on the side
  8. Good point @benno573 I kept the frames for crab bait so I’ll take the ear bones out and have a look how old it might be!
  9. This is the biggest hussar I’ve heard about. 54cm. Almost a legal red emperor!
  10. It’s a yellow striped hussar, but the stripe looks brown in that photo for some reason. I sent a pic to the Queensland Museum ichthyologist and he’d never seen one so big. It was tall and thick and looked like a largemouth nannygai!
  11. The photo bends the truth a bit the hussar was 50cm when we measured it on the boat, the Moses was 44cm.
  12. Headed out from Mooloolaba last week in some nicer weather. Well it might have been a bit too nice as the fish weren’t playing the game! Fished hard all day for a couple of tuskies, Maori cod, Moses, a nice snapper and the biggest hussar I’ve ever seen! Between 6 of us on two boats we kept about 20 reefies for the day. Conditions were so nice my spearo mate was foaming at the mouth to jump in, even after we saw a decent shark on one of the spots! Brilliant day on the water nonetheless. Mmmm fish tacos!