How to catch Dhufish

About:

Dhufish are a demersal species native to western Australia. They are known or their top eating qualities. Catching these delicious fish can be an art in itself. Although they can be found in close inshore reefs, most people venture into deeper water in search of larger specimens. They are known to grow over 20kg.

When:

Dhufish are native to WA waters only. The WA fisheries have strict closures for all demersal species in the West Coast Region. So make sure you check www.fish.wa.gov.au for more info on the closed season for Dhufish.

Otherwise, Dhufish can be caught most of the other times.

Where:

Juvenile Dhufish hang around inshore reefs and cruise over the sand at night for hunting.

Larger specimens tend to be found in deeper water around solid structure such as reefs or wrecks. Try looking at 30 meters and deeper.

Bait:

Dhufish will eat almost anything, but the fresher the bait, the better. Most people will have some octopus, pilchard or squid in their arsenal.

Soft Plastics and metal jigs are becoming more and more popular to use while targeting Dhufish. Some soft plastics which are known to work are the Gulp Jerk Shad 6inch in Nuclear Chicken and Squidgy Pro Flickbait 145mm in Pacific Pearl

Tackle:

A good solid outfit like a 10kg snapper rod with 20lb line is an ideal starting point.

For straight up and down bottom fishing we tend to use braid instead of mono as well.

Rigs:

The trusty paternoster rig is always a winner when bait fishing. There are some effective shop bought pre-tied rigs like the Black Magic Snapper Snatchers which work a treat. Try use the lightest weight possible to get to the bottom. If you’re going to tie your own rig, make sure you use some solid leader line like 60lb+. When tying a paternoster, avoid putting twists in the line as this will dramatically reduce the strength of the knots.

For all soft plastic and jig outfits, avoid using swivels or snaps as this reduces your feel and also can upset the action of light plastics.

Here are some links to some good pre-made rigs and recommended hooks on eBay.

Snapper Snatchers

Gamakatsu Octapus Circle Hooks

Tips:

Try use the smallest weight possible. This will avoid spooking the fish with a heavy weight bouncing along the bottom. Also, it’s always worth while trying to use some jigs or soft plastics while your baits are out too.

Getting the drift right it very important if you’re not at anchor. A parachute style sea anchor works really well to slow you down enough to get your baits down without using a ton of lead.

Also, as with almost all demersal species, a bit of burley can help a great deal, especially if you anchor up in a good spot