Humphead Wrasse Fishing

Humphead Wrasse Fishing

Humphead Wrasse

Humphead Wrasse
  • Size 3 feet
  • Food Value Good
  • Game Qualities Good
  • Habitats Nearshore, Offshore, Reef, Wreck

(Cheilinus undulatus)

There’s no mistaking the Humphead Wrasse for any other species when you reel it in. Also called Napoleon fish and Maori Wrasse, this vibrantly colored creature is sure to be a delightful surprise from the deep!

How Big?

Humpheads are one of the world’s largest reef fish, capable of reaching enormous proportions over 6 feet long. On average, these fish don’t usually exceed 3 feet in length. The IGFA record for Humphead Wrasse stands at 43 lb 10 oz (19.8 kg), but this species is rumored to weigh up to 400 lb or more on occasion.

When and Where

Humphead Wrasse is endemic to the Indo-Pacific region, from the Red Sea to the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Sadly, Humphead Wrasse are considered an endangered species, and recreational anglers are prohibited form harvesting them in many areas.


Humphead Wrasse range in color from pale blue and green to purple.

How to Fish

You can catch this reef dweller by drifting, bottom fishing, and jigging with heavy tackle.

Good to Eat?

Humphead Wrasse is a very good eating fish, which explains why it has been commercially overfished. Today, the meat of this fish is sold in restaurants for a very high price. Recreational anglers may catch Humphead Wrasse incidentally or for sport, but it's illegal to keep them in many countries due to their status as an endangered species. It’s best to admire this beautiful creature in her own environment, while scuba diving near the reefs!

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