Published On: Sat, May 12th, 2018

Bluenose Warehou – Hyperoglyphe antarctic – Also Griffin’s Silverfish

Bluenose Warehou – Hyperoglyphe antarctic

Bluenose Warehou are also called: blue bream, Bonita, Matiri, Deepsea Trevally, Griffin’s Silverfish, Antarctic butterfish and stone eye

bluenose warehou

Ian Bowden, a keen Wellington sports fisherman, caught this bluenose warehou in 180 metres of water off Wellington’s south coast, from John McClintock’s boat Black Ice. The colour of bluenose warehou is a bluish grey above, changing to silver grey on the sides and underneath. The bluenose has a very large eye and the front of the head is blunt and rounded.

Bluenose warehou are found in the southwest and southeast Atlantic, the West Indian Ocean, off South Africa, as well as New Zealand and Australia. It is a deepwater species ranging between 40 and 1500m but is caught mostly at depths between 100 and 300m. Bluenose warehou are a deep water species seldom seen by the majority of anglers. This fish is rarely caught in water less than 100m deep and is usually found much deeper down to about 600m.

Although a strong fighter on rod and line it’s preferred depth range means it is not often caught by recreational anglers. It is usually found over a deep rocky seabed, in particular at the edges of canyons and steep drop-offs. Commercial fishermen take bluenose mostly by deep long-lines set in the same places where they catch groper and deep sea bass. They are also taken by trawling near reefs in deep water.

This deep-sea species stays close to the seabed during the day and moves up in the water column at night, following food species. Bluenose eats a variety of squids, fishes and crustaceans.

blue nose groper

Adelaide Proctor caught this huge blue nose puka (groper – Hyperoglyphe antarctica) while fishing aboard the boat Marlin Blue out of Whangaroa, Bay of Islands, skippered by Brook Ebdale. It was Adelaide’s first time out deep sea groper fishing! Congratulations Adelaide – what a great fish!

They are most likely to be taken by anglers fishing over deepwater reefs for groper. Indeed many anglers refer to this fish as a blue nose groper to which it is not related at all. It also doesn’t grow anywhere near as big. A large specimen might reach as much as 30kg but most are around half of that.

bluenose warehou from the Bay of Plenty

Hugh Ensor, the skipper of the Ohorere, holds up a bluenose warehou taken in the Bay of Plenty. Mayor Island in the background. Photo courtesy of DJ Moresby. See Mayor Island Hapuka.

The most noticeable features of Blue Nose Warehou is that it has a blunt snout, forked tail, and is a darkish blue/black colour. The eye is large and it has a single row of teeth in each jaw. Blue Nose Warehou feed on crabs, squid, ling and other fish. They are ravenous predators often seen in schools on deep-water sounders.

bluenose warehou Otago

Steve Smith with a Bluenose Warehou weighing 12.3kg taken off Dunedin.

When hooked their bladders don’t inflate so they float to the surface like groper. Instead, they fight hard all the way to the surface. They are generally taken by anglers on the same tackle used to land bass and groper. Best baits are small squid, barracouta fillets and jack mackerel. Use large tuna circle long line hooks when fishing in deep water as there is no need to strike the hook. These are self-setting with fish almost always being caught in the jaw.

Like groper, bluenose warehou is a great eating fish. They are often caught commercially and sold in the shops as groper. The flesh is very similar to groper/hapuka. Information about the commercial catch of bluenose in New Zealand at Openseas.org.nz 

About the Author

- Fishingmag.co.nz website editor.

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New Zealand Sea Fishes