Black Jewfish Fishing
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Black Jewfish Fishing
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Black Jewfish (Protonibea diacanthus)
- Size 80 cm
- Food Value Average
- Game Qualities Average
- Habitats Inshore, Nearshore, River, Offshore
Black Jewfish are a favorite among anglers in northern Australia. Also called Blotched Jewfish, Spotted Croaker, or Jewie, this relative of Red and Black Drum will look very familiar to American anglers from the south and east coasts. Like their cousins, Black Jewfish can produce distinct sounds using special muscles in their bodies. Keep an eye (and an ear) out for these grunting fish!
Black “Jewies” can reach up to 150 cm in length, but typically grow to about 80 cm. They are known to weigh up to 45 kg.
When and Where
This species used to be fairly widespread in the waters between Asia and Australia, but today it’s mainly limited to the north coast of Australia. Anglers often catch Black Jewfish in cloudy coastal waters, in water up to 60 m deep. These fish make their way everywhere from tidal rivers and estuaries to offshore reefs. Black Jewfish living offshore tend to be larger, from 75-150 cm in length. In the Northern Territory, December and January are considered peak months for Jewies.
Black Jewfish caught offshore in Queensland, Australia
How to Fish
Anglers often target Black Jewfish over inshore reefs and other structure using handlines or heavy tackle. These fish bite lures and dead baits such as squid, pilchards, and prawns. Black Jewies taken from water more than 10 m deep are vulnerable to barotrauma and are unlikely to survive when released. Anglers are encouraged not to target this fish in deep water for catch and release.
Black Jewfish are not technically considered an endangered species, but they are susceptible to being overfished and each state has size and bag limits for this fish.
Good to Eat?
This Jewfish is excellent for eating, with pale pink flesh and a distinct flavor. Catch yourself a keeper and you’ll be able to experience the quality of this fish both in sport and in food value!
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