Perch, Robinson’s sea

(Gymnocranius grandoculis)

Commonly referred to as Robbo’s!

Robinson’s sea perch are a highly sought after table fish found in warmer northern Australian waters and are a member of the emperor family. They are also commonly referred to as Robinson’s sea bream but are in no way related to the perch or sea bream families.  Perhaps the name of Robinson’s emperor would be more appropriate?


Robbo’s are a highly sought after table fish found along the northern coastline of Australia from Coral Bay in the west right up and around to Queensland in the east.


Robbo’s can grow to around 60cm in length and weigh as much as 10kg! Although most fish encountered throughout Australia average around 2 – 4kg in weight.


Robbo’s prefer warmer, tropical waters ranging in depth from 15 – 90 meters of water with healthy coral reef systems present.  They can often be found lurking around reef edges bordering onto sand!


Robbo’s can be easily identified by their bream like shape and silver coloured body. They have dark, blotched markings present on their flanks and a slightly yellow tinge to the dorsal, anal and tail fins.

Taste rating

  • Eighty Taste Rating

Robbo’s are exceptional eating and a very highly prized table fish in any ones book!

Sport rating

  • Sixty Sport Rating

Robbo’s are more regarded for their eating qualities than their sporting abilities.

Tackle requirements

Medium spin or overhead tackle is well suited to targeting Robbo’s with medium strength braided, gel spun or nylon lines with a breaking strain of 30 – 50lb proving ideal. 80 – 100lb nylon leaders should be attached to bright braided or gel spun lines to prevent fish from seeing the line and also to help prevent chafe offs on rough structures. Medium bottom fishing or jigging outfits in either spin or overhead styles are more typically suited for fishing deeper water to 90 meters.

Recommended baits, lures and rigs

Most standard bottom fishing baits such as cut fish strips, squid and octopus will suffice for most Robbo situations with lures such as soft plastics and metal jigs also proving deadly on this species in northern waters. Paternoster or drift baiting style rigs made from 80 – 100lb nylon or fluoro carbon are ideal for targeting Robbo’s in most northern waters.

Handy hints and tips

Try using smaller baits when targeting Robbo’s as they have a small pointy mouth designed to feed upon smallish prey items.

Preferred fishing times and tides

Low light periods such as dawn and dusk are preferred for most forms of fishing especially when incorporated with a rising tide!


[What The Fish]