6 Things you didn't know about Whitebait

Submitted
Sept. 20, 2018

Whitebait season has arrived on the West Coast, here are a few things you may not know about this little creature and the season itself:

  1. Whitebait is a collective term for the immature fry of fish, they’re quite tiny.
  2.  There are strict regulations in place for when you can actually fish for Whitebait in New Zealand, which is why it’s called Whitebait season.
  3. Whitebait is edible and considered a delicacy (especially here on the West Coast). The entire fish is eaten.
  4. Whitebait season on the West Coast runs from September to November each year. Fishing for Whitebait is done with nets in the lower parts of the river.
  5. The traditional way of cooking whitebait is to make a whitebait fritter, which is basically an omelette containing the fish. You then serve this on a piece of bread with a drizzle of lemon juice.
  6. During the season we host Whitebait Festivals. There is the Haast Whitebait Festival on 6 October and the Westport Whitebait Festival on 20 October 2018.