To improve the efficiency of hairtail trolling, it is important to gain an accurate understanding of the distribution of fish based on their diurnal vertical migration patterns. This study evaluated the vertical distribution of hairtails through catch efficiency tests using vertical longlines. Five replicate tests of the efficiency were carried out on the eastern coast of Jeju Island from August to September 2016, from 11:00 AM to 03:00 PM in the daytime and 11:00 PM to 03:00 AM in the nighttime. The fishing gear was composed of 20 hooks per line set, numbered in order from the first hook near the surface to the last hook on the seabed. The depth of the first hook was 18 m, and that of the last hook was 86 m. Pacific saury was used as the baits. In total, 10 sets of fishing gear were used per trip. After fishing, we counted the hairtails at each numbered hook, which were summed up both by number and in aggregate. A total of 232 hairtails were caught using 2,000 hooks: 193 individuals at daytime and 39 at nighttime. The hook rate was 11.5% : 9.6% at daytime; 2.0% at nighttime. For both daytime and nighttime catches, there were variations in the hook rates at each numbered hook. In the daytime, a maximum of 28.5% catches occurred at hook number 18, followed by 21.4% at number 20, and 10.7% at number 17, accounting for 60.6% of the daytime hook rates. In the nighttime, a maximum of 23.0% catches occurred at hook number 1, followed by 15.3% at hook number 4 and 9, accounting for 53.6% of the nighttime hook rate. Based on the above results, hairtails are usually distributed in deeper region in daytime, whereas they occur near the surface in nighttime. Therefore, it is necessary to position trolling lines according to diurnal vertical distribution layers of hairtails for fishing efficiency.
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