Game Fish Identification Reference Guides

(Pagrus major)
(Temminck & Schlegel, 1843); SPARIDAE FAMILY; also called red seabream, red porgy, red tail, silver seabream, Japanese seabream, tai
In Japan, seabream, in the family Sparidae, are referred to generally by the term "tai," while the red seabream is called madai, a name inferring that it is the "true tai."
Madai are found distributed throughout Japanese waters with the exception of the Eastern and Northern coasts of Hokkaido and the waters of the Ryukyu Archipelago. They continue southward to the southern part of the Korean Peninsula, the East China Sea, the South China Sea and Taiwan.
The body of the madai is robust, high and moderately compressed. The lower jaw is slightly shorter than the upper. The single dorsal fish has 12 strong spines with 10-12 soft rays and the spines are not elongated into filaments. The head and upper body are red/brown and the sides and belly silvery. Numerous small bright blue spots are scattered over the body. The fins are red or faint red. A narrow black margin and a pale lower lobe of the caudal fin are characteristic.
Madai are bottom living at depths of 10 to 200 m deep, often on rough grounds, sand and mud. Adult fish migrate into shallower water to spawn in late spring and summer. Juvenile fish occur mainly in the shallower seas. Madai reportedly attain a length of 130 cm (50 inches), but most fish caught are considerably smaller.
Fishing methods vary from surfcasting and jetty fishing to drift fishing, jigging or anchoring to chum. They feed on wide range of bottom-living invertebrates and also on fishes, so bait selection should be fairly easy.
The red color of the fish and flesh, the shape and taste of the madai are particularly appealing and it is a popular food fish throughout its range. It is particularly high priced in Japan where it is much sought for ceremonies and celebrations. The madai is important both as a game fish and to the Japanese fishing industry, where much of the catch is the product of aquaculture

Current All Tackle Record

24 lbs 14oz ( 11.3 kg)

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