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.
- Sandy brown dorsally with widely-spaced reddish brown flecks and sometimes dark blotches along the sides, with indistinct dark brown bands posteriorly. The lower half of the tail fin is white with one or two large, blackish blotches.
- Sand flathead are carnivores which feed primarily on other fishes and large benthic crustaceans. They are ambush predators which hide from their prey by burying in the sediment.
- Sand flathead spawn from late winter to early summer. Male fish mature between 2 and 3 years old at around 20-21 cm long, while females mature between 2.5 and 5 years old at around 23-24 cm long. Growth of this species is relatively slow, with fish 45 cm long being aged at over 20 years old.
- Sand flathead are endemic to the temperate coastal waters of southeastern Australia from central New South Wales, throughout Victoria and South Australia, including Tasmania and rarely, the southern coast of Western Australia to just north of Perth.
- This species occurs on sandy, muddy or shelly bottoms in estuaries, inlets and shallow coastal bays to depths of about 100 meters.
Fish Size Common Length:
20-40 cm, maximum size around 55 cm and 1.3 kg.