John Dory are an unusual looking fish with a huge mouth, but deliciously tasty.
How To Identify:
John Dory are certainly an interesting looking fish - many would say ugly, however it certainly makes up for it in table qualities - some would say the best tasting fish in Australia. They are a dark brown with a large spot on both sides of its body. John Dory are a deep oval shape almost flat with a very large head and eyes. The large upward shaping mouth extends outward to engulf its prey.
How To Catch:
John Dory are mostly taken with live bait. They feed by seemingly floating aimless around and then inhales its prey by shooting out its telescopic mouth. So any live bait fish such as slimmies, yakkas or mullet will work well. Often caught when fishing for snapper. As Dory swim away with their prey in their mouth before swallowing, feed a few meters of line to the fish before sticking. I have not done so but the way in which Dory take their bait would suggest that a circle hook might work well with them - worth a try I think.
John Dory range in Australia from Southern Queensland, through New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and half way up the Western Australian Coastline. Lives mostly in offshore reefs and often taken by trawlers. It does sometimes come into bays and estuaries. In New Zealand John Dory range right around the North Island and the top quarter of the South Island.