Snapper fish

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Snapper (Pagrus auratus)

***** Location: Australia, other areas
***** Season: Late Spring
***** Category: Fish


Here in Victoria,(Australia) the fish come into Port Phillip Bay in early November, and the run coincideswith the coastal ti-tree blooming.


The Kooris knew this, and everyone interested in fishing learnt it from them, so now it's common knowledge. Also the best snapper appear at the market during November. It's a delicious fish to eat.

"Even today, fisherman use the flowering of the Coast Tea-tree in early November to mark the entry of Snapper into Port Phillip Bay."

... the spelling of 'ti-tree' is also in dispute :) ... 'tea-tree' referring usually to the melaleuca species from which 'tea-tree oil' is made, and historical differences in spelling between NSW and Vic.


I've used the spelling 'snapper', which seems to be the more usual now, though Victorians still spell it 'schnapper', which is probably originally correct, seeing the fish was named by two German men. We have a Point Schnapper, and that was named after the fish. The snapper/schnapper isn't the same as the one caught in Japanese waters, but it's related.

lorin ford


Snapper are usually pinkish to brown on the upper sides and silvery below. The body is covered by small blue spots that are most obvious in small fish (see third image).

Young fish are known as Squires and old fish are called Old Man Snappers. Old fish develop a prominent hump on the top of the head (see top two images). The hump develops in both sexes but is more prominent in males.

This species is one of the most popular food fishes in Australia. It grows to 1.3m in length and at least 20kg in weight.

Copyright © Australian Museum 2005

Worldwide use

Things found on the way


snapper run
my father's cigarette
bobbing on the bay

lorin ford


Related words

***** ..... FISH as a kigo

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