Beware of the sharp gill covers of flathead when handling them. 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.
- A large flathead with a large, strongly flattened head, sandy to grey colour or almost black above, sometimes with darker bars and pale spots or blotches, pale below.
- Tail sometimes with a dark blotch in the middle.
- Dusky flathead take around 3 years to grow to 40 cm, and 8 years to reach 90 cm. They mature at around 46 cm for males and 56 cm for females. Smaller dusky flatheads are usually male, larger ones female.
- There are around 43 species of flatheads in Australian waters. They are all bottom dwelling ambush predators that use their oversized pectoral and pelvic fins to completely bury themselves in soft substrates.
- Dusky flathead are endemic to Eastern Australia. They can be found in inshore waters from north Queensland to the Cann River (Victoria).
- Demersal on soft bottoms in estuaries, occasionally rivers (including freshwater), bays and coastal waters to depths of around 80 meters.
Fish Size Common Length:
40-70 cm, maximum size 120 cm and 15 kg.