John Dory Fishing (Zeus faber)

All Tackle Record

John Dory Fishing (Zeus faber)

John Dory might be one of the oddest looking recreationally targeted fish. They don't put up much of a fight, but are delicious table fare, sure to make any angler happy.

John Dory have large dark spots on the sides of their bodies, thought to have a defensive role and confuse predators. They are also able to change colors and blend into the background, where they wait patiently for slow moving prey, which they suck into their extendable mouths.

How big

They are on the smaller side of the game fish spectrum, with a 1kg fish considered a good catch.


This species can be found in coastal waters of the Indo-Pacific Ocean, notably off east AfricaSE Asia, Australia and New Zealand. They're also present in the Mediterannean Sea.

How to catch

Bait choices include any small local fish such as yellowtail mackerel, juvenile kahawai, mullet, bullies or spotties, but also mussels and a variety of soft plastic lures and jigs. An extensive guide to John Dory live baiting and preparation can be found right here.

Being stealthy and defensive by nature, these fish aren't really built for resistance, and so are quite easy to reel in.

Good to eat?

They are considered to be among the best eating saltwater fish of the lands down under.