Morwong (Cheilodactylidae)

Morwong

  • Size 3 to 5 kg (6 lbs, 9 oz to 11 lbs)
  • Food Value Good
  • Game Qualities Low
  • Habitats Nearshore, Reef, Wreck, Offshore
Morwong are a family of fish found in tropical waters across much of the southern hemisphere. They are commonly caught in Australia and New Zealand, where they are an important food fish and a regular sight at the end of a fishing charter. 
 
There are several species of Morwong, including the Blue Morwong, Red Morwong, and Jackass Morwong. Queen Snapper is also a species of Morwong. These colorful critters go by many different names, including Butterfish, Rubberlip, Mowie, Porae, Great Perch, and more. In New Zealand, they are known as Tarakihi.

When and where?

Morwong can be caught year-round on reefs and drop-off all along the south of Australia and New Zealand’s North Island. Some species can be caught from shore around rocky structure. Others, like the Southern Blue Morwong, live well over 200 m (650’) down. Wherever you look for them, you’re not likely to find them far from their reef or drop-off.
Angler holding keeper Morwong

How to Catch Morwong

Morwong are generally not fussy eaters. They will take squid, prawns, cuttlefish, and many other baits without a second thought. If you really want to catch your limits, berley bombs are a surefire way to attract these greedy fish.
 

Good to eat?

Morwong may not have the gourmet appeal or Snapper of Dhufish, but they do cook up well in sauces. They have a creamy meat that takes well to strong flavors and spices. The trick is to bleed and ice them as quickly as possible to preserve the flavor. 

Fish Species Similar to Morwong

Sweetlip Emperor

Queen Snapper (Australian)

Tarakihi


Top Morwong Fishing Charters

Top Morwong Fishing Destinations