RECORD: 1.75kg, S. Mackereth, Alderman Islands, 1997.
Koheru are usually thought of as bait but they are however fantastic eating, especially raw. Koheru look like a miniature kingfish with their blue-green backs, silver bellies, and yellow lateral lines and tails. They can grow up to 40cm but are most common around the 20-30cm range. When looking at a school you often see flashes of white as a fish extends its bellows-like mouth to suck up some food. They can most easily be distinguished from jack mackerel by their less obvious lateral line and electric colour scheme.
Bag limit: Part of 20 finfish limit.
FEEDING HABITS & HABITAT:
Koheru swim in large schools feeding on planktonic crustaceans such as shrimp and larvae. They are distributed along the East Coast from North to East Cape. Koheru are usually found around reefs and pinnacles in cleaner, offshore areas. They are best hunted in areas similar to kingfish where current is pushed up against an obstruction.
Koheru are usually encountered in the spots where divers would target kingies, where there is good current pushing against an obstruction from deep water. They are usually in very large schools and will often follow a diver thinking that he provides protection from predators. As long as you don't make jerky, aggressive movements, the fish should not be easily spooked. As always when shooting fish in a school, make sure you aim at a specific fish and don't be tempted to just fire into the school. When diving on a large school it is often best to dive down away from the school with your gun outstretched and eyes diverted , and wait for the fish to come over and check you out. As they swim in front of you it's just a matter of picking the one you want.
Schools of bait fish will attract larger pelagic fish so it is in your best interests to keep them with you and not to scare them off completely. Using berley and flashers will keep the school's attention.