How to measure fish correctly on a fish measuring device

3 Tips for measuring fish correctly

Many people approach measuring fish with a pretty slap happy approach and risk hefty fines if the fish is borderline legal.

In this video we cover 3 useful tips for measuring fish correctly and keep you out of trouble with Fisheries.

With my profile, I try and always set a good example plus I take sustainability very seriously. It’s not a good look for anyone to be caught with an undersized fish due to a silly oversight in measuring.

Admittedly, most of my charter career clients catch and release as we primarily target larger trophy fish that are not the best for eating.

But occasionally they want to take a fish for dinner so we will target smaller barra that are better eating or go grab a Fingermark on the way home (Fingermark are top class eating!)

Where many people go wrong as they don’t use a flat surface for measuring. Over time your brag mat will get rumpled and creased and overestimate the size of the fish.


Avoid keeping undersized fish by measuring your fish correctly

Avoid keeping undersized fish by measuring your fish correctly. An Accumat stays nice and flat unlike many brag mats that get rumpled over time.


This is not an issue if you've just caught a metery. Calling a 102cm fish a 103cm is neither here nor there. It's a great fish.

But calling a 57cm fish a 58cm fish can be an issue if you get boarded later by fisheries.

Another issue that can give an incorrect reading is an open jaw. Always close the jaw of your fish and push it up hard to the stopper.

And finally, take into account shrinkage. On ice the muscles contract and your fish gets smaller.

To avoid all of the above I give myself some leeway, for example for a barra I won't take one under about 61cm just to be sure.

In the short video below I show you the best way to measure a fish correctly to avoid these 3 mistakes and keep in inside the rules when it comes to fish sizes.



For those that may be interested, the fish measuring device we used for the demonstration is a AccuMat by Softgaff.

Now that I have retired from charters to focus on our Fish Smarter online fishing courses, we will be fishing recreationally from a fibreglass vessel so I won't be scratching a fish measurerer into the side like I have in the tinny. Instead we will be using this mat as it is easy to clean, retractable and is smooth on the scales to avoid damaging fish for release.

It doesn't really matter what device you use, just be aware of the three tips I have mentioned and it will keep you out of trouble.

I hope you enjoyed this tip and if you're new to our site, welcome. Please take a look around as we have a ton more tips and online fishing courses you might find useful.




And if you'd like to get in the draw to win a barra fishing charter with Ryan (now he has retired this is a rare opportunity to fish with him) simply enter your name and email below. You'll also fortnightly tips access to all our free training. So go ahead and join our free community now.


About The Author

Ryan Moody

Ryan Moody started his fishing career on the reef boats before catching bucket list marlin for the likes of champion heavy tackle angler Johnno Johnson, INXS and the King of Sweden. Branching out in the late 80's to guided barramundi fishing, Ryan has made a name for himself as a Big Barramundi specialist and to date has put clients onto over 2000 metre plus barra. That is over 2 kilometres of metre plus barra! With attitudes changing from 'keep all you can' towards catch and release, Ryan has decided to share his extensive knowledge and hopefully inspire people of all ages to get out from behind the computer screen/TV and into the fishing outdoors lifestyle he has spent his life perfecting.

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  • Ryan Moody

    Reply Reply April 18, 2018

    Thanks for your kind words Carlton!

  • Carlton L. Barnes

    Reply Reply April 18, 2018

    Really like the way you describe all the awesome tips on measuring fish. Really helpful and great work at the end.

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