Beware of the sharp teeth of long toms when handling them. The eating qualities of these fish can be improved by killing them humanely by iki jime or a firm knock to the head, before placing them in an ice slurry after bleeding.
- Long toms, also known as needlefishes, are elongate, thin fishes with mouths filled with many sharp, needle-like teeth. These are used to grasp prey items which include smaller fishes, crustaceans and cephalopods.
- The barred long tom is bluish green above, white below and has up to 14 dark vertical bars along its silvery sides, the bars being most prominent posteriorly.
- This species also has a black lobe on the rear of the dorsal fin, while the flesh and bones are usually greenish in colour.
- This species occurs worldwide throughout tropical and warm temperate regions.
- They frequent estuaries and coastal waters as well as shallow sand and reef flats at depths between 1 and 50 meters.
- They are often caught at night around artificial lights.
Fish Size Common Length:
Common between 40 and 80 cm, maximum size around 150 cm (5 feet) and 4 kg (8 pounds).