Grunter (Javelin) Fishing
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Grunter (Javelin) Fishing
Grunter (Javelin) (Pomadasys kaakan)
- Size 38 cm
- Food Value Excellent
- Game Qualities Low
- Habitats Inshore, Backcountry, River
The Javelin Grunter is a popular Queensland game fish which goes by many names, including Barred Javelin, Grunter Bream, Queensland Trumpeter, Spotted Javelinfish, Yellow-finned Javelin Fish, and more. This silvery fish is distinguished from other Grunts by the bar-like pattern running down its back. Many anglers overlook this common catch in the estuaries because it’s “too easy” to hook, but Javelin Grunter happens to be one of the best eating fish you can get in these waters!
Javelins grow to 38cm long and can weigh up to 6 kg. The IGFA all tackle record for this species is 1.93 kg (4 lb 4 oz).
When and Where
Javelin Grunter is native to the Indian and Pacific Oceans, from the east coast of Africa to Australia and parts of southeast Asia. In Australia, this fish is distributed from Shark Bay, WA to northern NSW, and is frequently caught by anglers in Queensland.
Javelins mainly inhabit coastal waters and estuaries. Anglers often find this fish along sandy or muddy seabeds. In Queensland, Grunters reach their peak during wet season (summer), between November and April.
Big Javelin Grunter caught in Cairns, Queensland
How to Fish
This fish is a blast to catch on light tackle and fly rod. Some anglers target larger Javelins on heavy tackle, but a high quality light tackle outfit will outdo substandard heavy gear on any day. Live bait is irresistible to this fish, but dead bait such as prawn, mullet, squid, and herring can also work well. Javelins take a series of small nibbles before they're ready to really bite the bait, often giving the illusion that there’s a smaller fish on the end of your line.
Handle this fish carefully when you land your catch because its gill rakers (the boney lining inside the gills) are very sharp! Be aware of size and bag limits (40cm minimum, with a bag limit of 10 fish in QLD).
Good to Eat?
Yes, Javelin Grunter is an excellent eating fish! The soft white meat tastes great baked, fried, or breaded. As far as table fare goes, it doesn't get much better than this.
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