Bream (Fingermark) (Lutjanus Johnii)

Bream (Fingermark)

  • Size 90-100 cm
  • Food Value Excellent
  • Game Qualities Good
  • Habitats Nearshore, Reef, Wreck, River, Inshore

Fingermark Bream are named for the distinctive spot near their tails which resembles a thumbprint. Also known as Golden Snapper (or “Goldies”), John’s Snapper, Big-scale Red, and Spotted Scale Sea Perch, these fish are both fun to catch and delicious to eat!

How Big?

Fingermark Bream reach 90-100 cm in length and weigh around 8 kg (17 lbs). Even smaller specimens put up a good fight when hooked!

When and Where

This species is distributed along the coast of northern Australia, south of Japan, and from East Africa to Fiji. Fingermarks prefer shallow inshore reefs, estuary systems, and waters slightly warmer than average. Fish which live farther from shore tend to grow larger, and are more commonly referred to as Golden Snapper rather than Bream.

Fingermark Bream, aka Golden Snapper

Fingermark Bream caught in Port Douglas, Queensland

How to Fish

It’s common to hook into a Fingermark Bream while fishing in estuaries for species such as Mangrove Jack or Barramundi. Many anglers target this fish offshore, as well, by jigging, casting, and even trolling. Live bait (herring) is ideal, but Goldies are also known to bite a variety of soft plastics, too. When hooked near heavy structure, these fish put up a mean fight!

Bear in mind that Gold Snapper caught in water more than 10 m deep are less likely to survive once you bring them to the surface. Due to overfishing, many states in Australia have catch limits for Goldies. Once you reach your daily bag limit, it’s best to target another fish instead.

The following size and bag limits apply to recreational anglers in Australia:

Queensland - 5 fish per person (35cm minimum length)
Western Australia - 4 fish per person (300mm minimum​ length)
Northern Territory - 3 fish per person (no minimum length specified)

Good to Eat?

Fingermark Bream make for excellent table fare. One bite of this fish and you’ll see why they’re popular among anglers! 

Fish Species Similar to Bream (Fingermark)

Bream (Black)

Gilt-head (Seabream)

Papuan Black Bass

Snapper (Mangrove)


Top Bream (Fingermark) Fishing Charters

Top Bream (Fingermark) Fishing Destinations