A very sweet surprise!

This red throat emperor was caught off Coffs Harbor, NSW.

THE NSW DPI Fisheries says it regularly receives information about surprising catches in NSW waters.

A perfect example is this impressive red throat emperor (Lethrinus miniatus) that was recently caught just south of Coffs Harbour, on the NSW North Coast.

Coffs fisho Wayne Gordon was targeting demersal species when he hooked something out of the ordinary.

Initially, Wayne thought it was a snapper or pearl perch, which are common catches when bottom fishing out of Coffs, but after quick tussle, this red throat emperor was found in the bottom of the net.

Red throats are renowned for their fantastic eating quality. A tasty surprise indeed!

These emperor are part of the Lethrinidae family, which is made of more than 30 different species. They are identifiable due to their red dorsal and pectoral fins. Their throat also has a solid red colour, hence their common name. Interestingly, they change sex from female to male during their life cycle.

Red throat emperor are commonly caught in Queensland waters, particularly around the Great Barrier Reef and further south to the Sunshine Coast. They are generally not a common capture south of Evans Head in NSW, although the Australian Museum has recorded sightings of red throat emperor as far south as Sydney.

Anyone else got any weird or surprising catches? If so, send info and images to NSW DPI Fisheries at and we’ll post on the most unusual on this page!

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