Fingermark Bream - Not Mosses Perch which are readily confused
The Fingermark Bream or commonly known as the fingermark is closely related and similar too the Moses perch, the perch though does not grow larger then 0.8kg in size. Fingermark are also known by Golden snapper, spotted scale seaperch and the red chopper (mangrove jack are also known by this nickname).
You can tell fingermark apart from the Moses perch via its Golden, Spotted scales, they are a coppery gold colour with and sometimes even purple/gold with a large irregular patch on the back under their second dorsal fin. Their fins are all usually dark with a dark tail although the pelvic fins can be lighter in colour, a perch on the other hand has a reddish or pinkish colour with yellow fins. Another way to tell them apart is that the fingermarks lateral line is yellow which the mosses perch does not have.
Fingermarks move around with the tide and are constantly adapting their feeding habits depending on the tide height, cycles and states that they are in. They favour drop offs around 3m of water depth when found near reefs, but can also be caught in mangrove line estuaries or bays in the tropical climates of Australia and are rarely seen migrating past Carnarvon (west) or Rockhampton (east). When feeding they tend to form large school with the smaller size fish and visas versa, smaller schools the bigger the species gets, they feed on such small fish as herring, mullet and gar and are also known to eat prawns, shrimp, crabs and worms though squids seem to be their favourite meal of choosing.
Fingermark will be caught on most any dead or alive bait such as mullet, herring or fresh prawns, but as stated before live squid is rarely passed up by the fingermark bream, smaller species tend to be caught more on dead bait or strips where as larger fish are usually taken on live bait. Deep diving minnows work well as long as they can be kept as close to the bottom as possible, anything from a light 3kg set up will work although it is wise to have a stronger leader about three times the breaking strength on the main line.
Fingermark are a great table quality fish and is highly regarded among fisherman, sometimes even rated high then barramundi. Unlike other species of fish even the larger fingermark are as highly regarded and do not lose much taste the older they become.
Fingermark can top 10kg in weight but the most regular size fish are caught around the 0.6kg – 4kg rang with some regularly caught around 6-7kg.
An Australian record of 5.19Kg was caught at Duyfken Point, Queensland on the 14/12/2002.