The bludger, Carangoides gymnostethus (also known as the bludger trevally, nakedbreast trevally and Bleeker’s jackfish), is a widespread species of large marine fish in the jack family, Carangidae. The bludger inhabits the tropical and subtropical regions of the Indo-west Pacific Ocean, distributed from South Africa in the west to Japan and New Caledonia in the east. It is a large fish, growing to a maximum recorded length of 90 cm, and is very similar to the yellowspotted trevally, Carangoides fulvoguttatus, but can be separated by the complete absence of breast scales and a number of other anatomical features. The species inhabits moderately deep offshore coral and rocky reefs, where it preys on small crustaceans and fish. The reproductive biology of the species is poorly known, but it appears to move to more tropical waters to spawn. The bludger is of intermediate importance to fisheries throughout its range, taken by hook and line and various netting methods. It is of some value to anglers also, considered a good gamefish, but generally regarded as poor eating due to its soft oily flesh, which is used as bait by many anglers. The name ’bludger’ is said to either refer to the blunt head of the species, or the destination of the fish when caught by professional fishermen who treat the fish as discard.
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