Beware of the sharp gill covers and dorsal spines of black spotted estuary cod when handling them. Estuary cod and other rock cods have similar brain locations and all can be very tolerant of air exposure. To maximise their eating qualities they should be killed humanely by iki jime, or a firm knock to the head before placing them in an ice slurry after bleeding.
- Black spotted estuary cod are grey-brown above and whitish below with irregular, oblique bars on the body. They have numerous small black spots on the head, body and fins.
- This species may show protogynous sex reversal, maturing first as females before transitioning into males. Studies in India suggest females mature at between 4 - 5 years old and 60-75 cm long, with sex change to male occurring in fish over 75 cm.
- Black spot estuary cod are one of the larger grouper species, growing to nearly 240 cm (8 feet) long and over 150 kg (300 lb).
- This species occurs in tropical and subtropical estuaries throughout the Indo-Pacific region.
- Juveniles live near snags and other structure in rivers, estuaries, and inshore reefs.
- Larger specimens move to offshore reefs as they mature to depths of around 150 m.
Fish Size Common Length:
30-100 cm, maximum size around 230 cm and 150 kg in weight.