Commonly referred to as Dhuies!
The Western Australian dhu fish is a species of fish that is endemic to the coast line of W.A. Its large sizing and fantastic eating qualities make it the most highly prized fish species available to most anglers today. Western Australian dhu fish have received a fair amount of attention lately and are one of the species responsible for the highly productive demersal fishing bans recently implemented. If there were ever a fish species needing to be placed upon our W.A. state flag this would be the one!
W.A. dhu fish are a species endemic to Western Australian waters and can be located from as far south as Albany up to the Abrolhos Island region throughout Western Australia.
W.A. dhu fish grow to around 30kg in weight and reach sexual maturity at around 40cm in length. A typical sized W.A. dhu fish is around 5 – 6kg in most W.A locations with fish over 20kg rarely seen. The Western Australian state angling record is currently a staggering 28.6kg!
W.A. dhu fish are found in cooler, southern waters with depths ranging from 15 – 100 meters. They prefer areas of solid and broken reef as well as man made structures such as wrecks with smaller, juvenile fish generally encountered in shallower areas of solid and broken reef.
W.A. dhu fish can be easily recognised by their distinct body shape and large, cavernous mouths. They are typically silver to grey in colouration with dark black , mottled markings across the back and purple hues towards the head and shoulders of the fish. The tail is large, powerful and paddle shaped.
Western Australian dhu fish are one of the ultimate table species throughout W.A.
W.A. dhu fish can be dirty fighters amongst bottom structures but are typically quite manageable on most rod and reel combos.
Medium to heavy spin or overhead tackle is well suited to targeting W.A. dhu fish from a boat with medium to heavy strength braided, gel spun or nylon lines with a breaking strain of 30 – 80lb proving ideal. 50 – 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 to heavy bottom fishing or jigging outfits in either spin or overhead styles are more typically suited for fishing deeper water to 100 meters.
Most standard bottom fishing baits such as whole and cut fish strips, squid and octopus will suffice for most W.A. dhu fish situations with lures such as soft plastics and metal jigs also proving deadly on this species most recently. Paternoster or drift baiting rigs made from 80 – 120lb nylon are normally used to target W.A. dhu fish in deeper waters to 100 meters.
Large 8/0 – 10/0 sized hooks snooded and fished in conjunction with whole, fresh squid or fresh tuna or other fresh fish fillets are a deadly method of targeting big W.A. dhu fish. Longer droppers on Paternoster style rigs seem to account for better numbers of larger dhuies.
Rising or full tides are best suited for targeting W.A. dhu fish throughout most locations although some deep water areas will also produce good numbers of fish during low and falling tides. New moon phases are also preferable for most fish species including dhuies.