Estuary Cod is an Estuary Rock Cod, also called Gold Spotted Rockcod, Spotted Cod, Greasy Cod, Northwest Grouper, Orange-Spotted Grouper, Brown-Spotted Grouper, Greasy Cod, Beardie and Spotted River Cod.
"Cod" is the common name for the genus (botanical classification above family, under species), Gadus. "Cod" is also used as a part of many common fish names too, resulting in cases such as this one where the Estuary Cod (Cod, Estuary) is from the genus, Epinephelus, which makes it a Grouper.
HOW TO IDENTIFY COD, ESTUARY
Estuary Cod are olive-green to brown with brown spots devoid of any pattern. They have chin barbels (therefore the nickname Beardie). The Estuary Cod is one of the largest and most common Cod reaching a length of over 2m and can weigh a massive 230kg.
Distinguishing features are the 3 opercular spines which are equal distances apart and a rounded tail. The 6 darker blotches on the back fade with age to a uniform brown colour.
WHERE TO CATCH COD, ESTUARY
Estuary Cod have a range from Rottnest Island (near Perth) in Western Australia around the top end to South West Rocks in NSW, but most common in more tropical waters. They are often found in caves in bays, coastal reefs and estuaries of tropical waters. They are frequently found inshore and also inhabit shallow waters around the continental shelf in a depth range of 10-90m.
HOW TO CATCH COD, ESTUARY
You can find Estuary Cod in estuaries and silty areas. They have also been found in freshwater. When fishing for Estuary Cod, look for reef or rubble or a steep drop off where they like to inhabit.
It is important to know state regulations with Estuary Cod because some states have maximum size limits to protect larger Estuary Cod. Fishing is restricted for larger Estuary Cod. Larger fish can be caught on large rigs with baits of whole live mud crab. Smaller Estuary Cod are hooked while fishing for general reef fish with relatively heavy gear. The biggest of Estuary Cod will even take hooked smaller fish in estuaries whole.