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Next size up sir...!

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Well-Known Member
Apr 21, 2003
Hiya all

Recently spent a few days spearfishing in a completely new area, about 5 hours drive away on the East Coast , very different hunting conditions, fish...and another new chapter in my spearfishing career. I have been cutting my teeth shooting small Hottentot in Capetown, and the occasional Galjoen, so was hoping to get a shot at a big mussel-cracker, but no such luck.
Got a small cracker on day one, as well as a black tail ( also a small fish), then had the amazing experience of being joined by 2 dolphins on my swim home !

On the last day, was diving in the Knysna-Heads, where the ocean flows into a huge estuary. was in about 13 meters of water, looking at a few blacktail and wondering whether or not to shoot, when they suddenly scattered ! Looking around, I saw a school of Striped-Harder arriving at high speed, in pursuit of the smaller fish. Thinking they were Garrick at first, I realised there was no time for procrastination, these guys were not going to hang around. I fired at the closest, and he was JUST in range, and was soon enroute to the surface with my biggest fish so far in my short spearo career !! Still small to most of you guys I think, but was pretty chuffed non the less, have attatched a pic.


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thats a nice fish it looks like mullets in med. Was it tasty?
Yeah, definitely looks like a mullet! Always thought they were vegetarians... Congrats anyway!

Greets, joe
Is a mullet, I think they are also called Harder down here ?? Maybe someone can correct me if I'm wrong.

It tasted good from the pan, but apparently they are better when barbequed in foil. I think they are vegetarians Joe, but the way the blacktail spooked when they arrived, I thought they were giving chase ! The guy was also amazingly strong for such a small fish.
Hi jeff

Mullet is locally known as harders. Don't know whether they're vegetarian though, becuase we used to catch them with pilchards as bait. That's a big one you've shot. Well done!!

By the way, just pm'd you.

Yeah this one big bad ass mullet.;)

Taste of it differs accoriding where do you cought it :D
Mullets will eat anything you throw at them. They are quite powerful and good over here for target practice :D

They swim round harbours eating the crap over here so no one eats them. (Well only the cats we feed when we bring them to shore!)
In our waters, there is one mullet called "flat head" and large ones can be quite tasty when barbequed...
Hey Guys,

I thought the taste was kinda different, but certainly was not unpleasant! ...Uuh, maybe I was just suffering from 'Thisismy' syndrome !

'Thisismyfish' and I will enjoy eating it if it kills me !!!

Miles, just got your pm now, will catch you later. Going to Buffels this week sometime, will let you know when if you're keen.

Med Mullets

Here's a picture of some of our Mediterranean mullets. I'm sure I'd eat one here, the water is pretty clean.

Hey congrats Jeff! Always good to hear of someone going out of their normal area and being the better for it.

No if I could just understand whatever the Hell you said...:confused:


Mullets are what we mostly hunt on here, so I am considering myself an expert! :)

Mulets are only good when bbqed. The taste differs from species to species.

The flathead (gray) mullet is the one that eats crap (literally sometimes) and is not very good. Filters the mud contributes to the not so good taste. Besides the sea worms all mullets are vegetarians. (Which brings up another question: are you still a vegetarian if you tend to eat crap?) :D
The golden-gray mullet is much, much better. Eats mostly algae from the rocks and sea worms. Tastes quite nice!
The only species I've ever heard to chase on other fish is the Far East (So yui, Russian) mullet. Never saw one doing that, though and I thint it's a myth.

Flathead mullet

Golden-gray mullet

So-yui mullet
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One of the best taste fish in the med sea is red mullet. However they don't grow much and does not behave like other mullets. They generally found on the sandy/rocky bottoms.

I will attach pi. from fishbase if its open soon.
This one is little less taty but still one of the best eating fish.
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Hey Murat,

Is this really a mullet, mate? I thought in English it's goatfish. Maybe you mistake it cause of the latin name - mullus barbatus as far as I can remember. It belongs to the Mullidae family. But I may be wrong. We call it Barbun locally. The mullets belong to a different family - Mugildae. And it looks different - especially with those tentacles under the mouth.

The red goatfish is a very interresting fish. One of the oldest ever European records of artificially kept fish are of this creature. The reason for that was the particualr ability of the goatfish to change colors. When spooked it instantly turns from nearly colorless to bright red. Same thing happens when the fish is dying (it's like you've speared a completely different fish). That's why the price of the goatfish in ancient Rome was doubled if the fish was brought alive. The fish was first presented on the table swimming in large bowls. Later the host personally killed the poor fish right on the dinner table for the amusement of the guests.

It's quite a curious fish. It gets spooked only by sudden movements and the best way to hunt it is ambush. But since it feeds by constantly digging the sand/mud you can attract it if you plough a larger area so the food particles get on top. Then you just wait on the bottom by the food spot. Use short, very light guns with thin 4.5 - 5 mm shaft. If you don't care about the size of the fish it can be a really amusing hunt, especially for newbies and training. The goatfish can be found at almost any depth.

And you are right about the taste! Fry the smaller and bbque the bigger ones.

Hope that was usefull!

I got the info from the fishbase. We too localy call them Barbun how interesting isn't it???

That very interesting hystorical info you gaved;)
A month or two ago i shot two of them with 75cm gun and 6.5mm shatf. Since the shaft is bit big for them i aimed to the head. Two shot two kill. They were abou 20cm long. Generally i don't shoot these fishes, too easy, stupid and small fishes. But my sister especially "ordered" them:D But since she went to school (Türkey). They are mine to eat:p
I got the info from the fishbase. We too localy call them Barbun how interesting isn't it???


also as you said,


Thats very interesting hystorical info you gaved;)
A month or two ago i shot two of them with 75cm gun and 6.5mm shatf. Since the shaft is bit big for them i aimed to the head. Two shot two kill. They were abou 20cm long. Generally i don't shoot these fishes, too easy, stupid and small fishes. But my sister especially "ordered" them:D But since she went to school (Türkey). They are mine to eat:p
they are really tasty little fishes :D

ps: murat, whats the name of ISKAROZ? in english? or in Latin?
Weird enough, :duh

That's definately not a mullet, but Fishbase should be right! :)
I was using the gun for gobies for the barbun, and the gobies are also very popular around here for their taste, despite the size. And people prefered speared gobies cause we only get the large adult species, which are to be found on rocky bottoms. The ones caught with nets are too small and are usually the "sand" species which are not as tasty. When we were kids we used to compete and my personal record was 65 fish for hour and a half. This means ~ 1 fish for 90 seconds! :duh
Now to avoid any negative comments about the number, the gobies are to be found in enormous quantities in the Black sea (when the weather is right you can see them around EVERY single rock on the bottom), there is absolutely no bag limit for them (besides the commercial netting during the spawning season) and those 65 came form 4-5 different species. They are also considered a potential pest since sometimes they feed on the spawn of other species. The normal size of the adults we hunt is a bit over 20 cm, although I've presented valid gobies (over 300 grams) during competititions. Those however are of a certain deepwater species called Lyhnus locally, which comes to depths 10-15m in April when the water temp is ~10C.
We don't even put line on the shaft for faster reloading. If you plan your route well (mark the gobies), you can get 2 or even three fish for single dive. It's very amusing and a great dynamic training really.
And when there's no other fish around, you can always resort to the gobies if you must have fish for dinner. They do taste great (they're predators after all) when fried.... :)
The Barbun we hunt usually together with the gobies even though I was running "special orders" like you Murat. I am not surprised about the equal local name, after all we're neighbors with Turkey. I can give you other examples too: The Seabass we call Lavrak and you call it Levrek. I think the Bluefish was also close - the small ones we call Lefer and the bigger ones Gofus.

Here's a picture of two species of gobies. It's from from Fishbase, but since I've personally contributed it to them, I guess I'm entitled to use it. Check out the shaft holes! I guess I'm getting the joint Wihelm Tell / Robin Hood International Marksmanship Award! :D


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