Barred snapper, Caji
Schoolmaster Snappers are occasionally mistaken for dog snappers due to their similar blue lined gill cover however the Schoolmaster lacks the white marking that identifies the dog snapper. In juvenile fish these yellowish fish have white stripes on their sides however these stripes fade in the older fish.
Habitat & Behaviour
Schoolmaster Snappers are found in warm shallow water around reefs, but they can occasionally be found near sandy bottoms or in mangrove type areas.
Schoolmaster Snapper subsist for the most part on a diet of crustaceans, mainly crabs and amphipods. Older and larger fish with correspondingly larger mouths are known to prefer smaller fish as well as other crustaceans.
Reef fish like the Snapper require anglers to use dehooking tools and venting tools to safely release the fish. When releasing keep in water, remove hook with pliers or dehooker and vent accordingly if you brought it up from a deep depth. Don’t put fingers in mouth, grab behind head or underneath. Don’t grab by gills – grab underneath on the belly. Try not to damage the fish – don’t recommend grabbing by eyes. If harvesting, gaff larger ones around head. Meat very sought after so don’t gaff there.