In the past, giant lobsters sold for less than their smaller counterparts because their taste was considered inferior — but that has changed.

South Australian fisher Craig “Slim” Reilly recently caught rock lobsters that fetched up to $500 each, including one that weighed close to five kilograms.

The three-decade industry veteran said they did not come much bigger than that.

“One of the biggest [I’ve caught] for sure,” Mr Reilly said.

The cray, caught in January in shallow water near Beachport, weighed 4.85kg.

Mr Reilly guessed it was at least 30 years old.

“They seem to be the smarter ones, I suppose,” he said.

“Maybe they get in and out of the pots over the years.”

Southern rock lobsters are caught in pots like this.(ABC South East SA: Elsie Adamo)

Times have changed for big lobsters

Mr Reilly sold the supersized crustacean through the Limestone Coast Fishing Co-operative.

He said bigger lobsters used to sell for less per kilogram than their smaller counterparts, but that was no longer the case.

“Overall, I would say the bigger ones have been a slightly … higher price,” he said.

“Times have changed a little bit over the last few years — we seem to be favouring the bigger ones a little bit more now.”

Andrew Ferguson is one of the larger seafood wholesalers in the south east.(ABC News: Lincoln Rothall)

Wholesaler Andrew Ferguson said despite what many people thought, the meat was just as tasty in a very large southern rock lobster as a smaller one.

But he said that was not the case for all varieties of lobsters.

“The larger lobsters have more meat in the legs and that’s sort of the better-tasting meat as far as I’m concerned — it’s only personal preference,” Mr Ferguson said.

“In other species, yes, you do see the larger the lobster, the less taste — but not in the local species, for sure.”

He said large lobsters were particularly popular among the Chinese communities in Sydney and Melbourne, as well as in Hong Kong, Singapore and other parts of South-East Asia.

“Once upon a time, the larger lobsters would come in and it was harder to find a home for them,” Mr Ferguson said.

“Small lobsters were fetching a better price, but I suppose over the last four or five years we’ve seen a higher price.”

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