Information about Chinamanfish
Chinaman fish are a good looking fish that possess all the hard fighting qualities you would expect from a large reef dwelling species. The origin of their name is a mystery to this day. Chinaman fish are generally encountered whilst fishing for other reef fish and are famous for their brutal fighting abilities. These fish pull like a train.
Unfortunately Chinamanfish are known ciguatoxin carrier and therefore cannot be eaten. Ciguatera is a foodborne illness that is caused by eating certain reef fish whose flesh is contaminated with a toxin made by dinoflagellates which live in tropical waters.
Captain Cook reported the first known case of ciguatera poisoning in the Pacific in 1774 while in the New Hebrides. He suffered ciguatera poisoning twice, and red bass was thought to be the culprit on both occasions.
You can imagine how disappointing it is for fishermen to hook a big fish down deep, fight it all the way to the surface, see the flash of red and think its a Nannygai or Red Emperor only to discover its an inedible Chinamanfish!
Chinaman fish are red in appearance but can also be any colouration from almost orange to a deep red. Chinamanfish have fine yellow lines over the head and mouth and grow to about 15 kg
Chinaman fish take big baits and go pretty hard. They have a powerful tail and a good set of razor sharp teeth. They are a lot of fun to catch if you can get over the disappointment of not being able to eat them.