RECORD: 6.97kg, D. Turley, Great Barrier Island, 1997.
A fish of reasonable eating quality, porae or "big lips" are a deep, compressed fish easily recognized by their big lips and long pectoral fans that reach as far back as the anus. They are a silver colour and there's many a spearo that's got all excited thinking they are looking at a monster snapper in low-light before realizing it has the lips and fins of a porae.
Bag limit: Part of 20 finfish limit
FEEDING HABITS & HABITAT:
Porae are a northern fish and while can be found as far south as the Cook Strait during the summer, they are only common as far as the Bay of Plenty. Porae eat mostly crabs and other invertebrates they find on the bottom. They are found on weedlines where their food can easily be found.
Porae are another very easy target as they are curious and hard to spook. While you can find fish in shallow, the deeper you dive the bigger the porae you encounter seem to be. The best way to hunt porae seems to be to dive down to the weedline and look straight down for a few seconds, when you look up almost guaranteed there will be porae sitting looking at you or a big pair of lips coming straight on. Kneeling on the bottom and throwing handfuls of sand up also brings them in. Just before for you surface from a dive, dig a big armful of sand and let it trail out as you ascend. When you descend back to the same spot there's likely to be porae picking up titbits from the hole you made.