Hairtail Trichiurus lepturus


Distribution - Large schools are infrequently found in coastal bays and estuaries on Australia's east and west coast. Recreational fishers in NSW have traditionally caught this fish in Cowan Creek in the Hawkesbury River system just north of Sydney, with catches also recorded in Sydney Harbour and Botany Bay.

Size - Hairtail grow to a maximum length of 2.5m and approximately 5kg in weight.

Characteristics - Has a silver, ribbon-like body that ends in a thin whip-like tail. Hairtail have large, slashing teeth that should be avoided. They lack both caudal and ventral fins. Hairtail can be caught all year round though they are more commonly taken during winter months.

Confusing species - They are related to the southern frostfish, which have a distinct caudal fin. Anglers are unlikely to catch frostfish as it is a deepwater, offshore species.