Dhufish schools

While Dhufish are a common topic, I was wondering if anyone has heard about this before. I was reading a fishing mag the other day and it commented on that if you are to located a school of dhufish small or large, and you take away (catch) the domanent male the rest of the school will shut down. return the fish and they will continue to bite. Is this true, sounds reasonable enough.


Adam Gallash's picture

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mmm

Tue, 2007-01-09 09:54

Debateable! The two fish we caught on the weekend had to be the dominant fish on the lump, but, in saying that when we caught them the sounder had fish all over it, could possibly have even been a dhufish aggregation. (something we had joked about earlier in the day to be pleasantly suprised later on) Soon as we had taken our happy snaps of the big fish, we went back around again and the next drop was a pinky and a 55cm dhuie and the bite was still red hot. We only did one drop after that and got a couple of red snapper, so can't effectively determine whether the bite died due to the fact the dominant fish had been removed or the fact the wind picked up an extra 10 knots changing the drift line and movement speed. Its an interesting theory which would be hard to determine, I'm sure dhumaster Andy Mac will be able to shed some light with his experiences.

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SPESS's picture

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It even goes on to say that

Tue, 2007-01-09 09:57

It even goes on to say that the male domanent fish will usally take the first option on present food, thats why they get caught first on most occasions.

Andy Mac's picture

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Which mag SPESS?

Tue, 2007-01-09 10:07

I wouldn't mind having a read of that.

In my experience its been few and far between that you get double hook ups or multiple fish in successive drifts so the jury is still out on that one. I have noticed that as soon as you get a big (clear dhuie take) and bust off, the bite shuts down almost immediately. The sight of that big dominant fish with extra bling in its gob probably puts the others off their food.

I will have to start taking more note of the sex of the fish as they come over the side (assuming I can keep catching them) from now on. Thanks for the heads up on that one.

Cheers

Andy Mac

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Jamie Chester's picture

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The social structure of

Wed, 2007-01-10 23:15

The social structure of dhufish schools seems to suggest that aggregations are dominated by one or more big males. Removing the big ones would certainly affect the spawning and overall school behaviour I think.

In saying that I have fished schools where alot of big fish (males and females) were removed and the bite kept going (on commercial and rec boats) - but these were in "virgin" areas where competition for food was probably quite high so what would happen these days with less fish around is debateable.

I kinda feel bad about removing big dhuies these days I must admit. Especially once you see underwater footage of them.

Catching big dhuies (when they are feeding) is too easy. Finding them these days is the hard part.

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Nealez's picture

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the main not i took from

Tue, 2007-01-09 10:40

the main not i took from that same article is goes on to say that if the alpha male is removed from the shoal it will not continue to spawn(the shoal) and the longer second dorsal of the male indicates the staus of the individual

Tackle Dangler

Andy Mac's picture

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Who wrote the article?

Tue, 2007-01-09 10:46

I would like to get a copy.

Sounds like they have done some research, which sounds pretty ominous for the species if this is true.

Cheers

Andy Mac

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Nealez's picture

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Fishing WA but im not sure

Tue, 2007-01-09 10:53

Fishing WA but im not sure which issue but ill check when i get home.
unless you've got yours there Spess

Tackle Dangler

SPESS's picture

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Nealez what mag was it from

Tue, 2007-01-09 10:55

Nealez what mag was it from i cant remember, i have it at home if anyone iss interested in a copy

Nealez's picture

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yeah im not sure exactly

Tue, 2007-01-09 11:29

yeah im not sure exactly which issue but ill look tonight

Tackle Dangler

SPESS's picture

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Maybe the dhu that Adam

Tue, 2007-01-09 11:38

Maybe the dhu that Adam caught was out pimpin and his hoes werent aware he was gone!!!!!!!!! lol.

SPESS's picture

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Andy if you want a copy send

Tue, 2007-01-09 13:33

Andy if you want a copy send me a pm with your address and ill post it to you (photocopy) Cheers

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not sure about it

Tue, 2007-01-09 18:16

not sure if this will help but the other week i pulled seven small dhuies form the same small lump on the same day. i left them biting too. i kept two but they were all about the smae size both male and female. also when i was at aqwa the other day there was about five dhuies all tucked under one hole in the tank.

SPESS's picture

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Id be under that hole too

Wed, 2007-01-10 06:02

Id be under that hole too when theres more sharks in there than anything else!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Hmmmmmm

Thu, 2007-01-11 09:15

Yeah good point Jamie, I have fished dhuie schools before where it was all you could catch and we stopped fishing with them still crawling over anything we put down - jigs, bait etc:

However that was in relatively "virgin" waters so who knows as I havent encountered a big school in other areas.

In terms of real big dhus I dont think I would keep another, unless of course it was completely stuffed. They are to rare the big boys and I reakon they need to be down there doing their thing - they got to that size for a reason

Gully

SPESS's picture

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I have a bit of a soft spot

Thu, 2007-01-11 11:21

I have a bit of a soft spot for the big Dhues and cant help but put them back. Nothing better than watching a bigboy swim gently back to the depths. Just hope the ones put back on the release wieght survive to be caught another day. My pb is 18.8kg and with some great photos taken i was more than happy to put him back. Mybe i will never crack the big 20kg mark but ill be satisfied to let him go if i do. As Gully said there that size for a reason. I still did enjoy eating one of his kids the same day.

Adam Gallash's picture

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With ya

Thu, 2007-01-11 13:48

I too don't think I would keep another big dhuie unless it was stuffed. It took me 7 years of consistent fishing to get that one on the weekend and now that I've got it I don't really feel the need to kill another one.

I must say that every now and then I get the guilts over killing a fish, momentary I must say, but its certainly there when the eyes follow what you are doing and un-nerve you that little bit.

I think your pretty on the mark there Jamie.

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They are such a prized fish

Thu, 2007-01-11 18:03

They are such a prized fish to catch that maybe a maximum size needs to be imposed to keep the big breeders down there.

You gotta be in it to win it

Jamie Chester's picture

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Max sizes are a great

Thu, 2007-01-11 22:48

Max sizes are a great concept - if you can get the fish back down there alive. Which can be hard for dhuies out of 40 or more metres. So yeah Catch 22 there a bit.

In theory a good idea though.

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dhufish schools

Fri, 2007-01-12 16:44

I use to live in the midwest of WA crayfishing in the late 90's and used to dive on alot of snagged or snapped off pots. One dive in about 28meters I had little air left so it was a case of follow the rope down get the pot out and back to the top. While getting the pot I noticed a jewie out of the corner of my eye which is not uncommon, but then I noticed a couple more and so I stopped to have a look around on this lump. You guessed it there were jewies everywhere all sizes from the bottom to approx. 4 meters up.
I got the pot out swam to the top, we threw 3 handlines over and got 4 big fellas and then they went quiet. There must of easily been 50 fish there but I guess they figured out that the big guys were not going to a better place.

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Adam Gallash's picture

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Interesting

Sat, 2007-01-13 12:16

Nothing like first hand experience, cheers for the post Isack! Sounds like they do realise that some have been removed from the school and that the bite has shut down as a result. Interesting....

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