Lutjanus malabaricus

Northern WA, Southern QLD, Northern QLD, NT
Bay, Ocean, Offshore, Reef, Structure

Large-Mouth Nannygai have a number of other common names and nicknames, including Saddle-Tailed Seaperch (most commonly used), Seaperch, Reds, Big Mouth Nannygai, Saddle-Tail Snapper, Longman’s Seaperch, Large-Mouth Seaperch, Scarlet Seaperch and even Red Snapper.

The Large-Mouth Nannygai is considered an excellent table fish and highly prized for its fighting ability by Australian fishos.


Large-Mouth Nannygai have a very intense red colour on the upper flanks which changes to a reddish pink towards the belly. You will know you have caught a Large-Mouth Nannygai because it has a very distinctive saddle spot between the lower dorsal fin and the caudal fin.

Large-Mouth Nannygai/Saddle-Tailed Seaperch look very similar to Crimson Seaperch. The immediate visual difference between being that the head and mouth is much larger in the Large-Mouth Nannygai/Saddle-Tailed Seaperch. The distance from the front cheekbone to the tip of the snout is also longer in the Large-Mouth Nannygai/Saddle-Tailed Seaperch. Additionally, the head looks much like that of the Mangrove Jack. 7 or 8 scales are also found above the lateral line.

Large-Mouth Nannygai can grow to a full metre in length and a weight of around 12kg.


Large-Mouth Nannygai can be found off the coasts of Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia. The range extends from Shark Bay in Western Australia around the north coast of Australia to the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef. Large-Mouth Nannygai prefer warmer waters. It is not surprising to find them around Cairns and Port Douglas.

Large-Mouth Nannygai are a schooling fish and can be found in different structure depending on where they are found along the coastline. Large Mouth Nannygai are often found in shallow reefs right out to the continental shelf and have the ability to adapt to different depths.


When you come across Large-Mouth Nannygai, you know you are in for loads of action because they travel in large schools and they are a very hard fighting tropical reef species. They are generally bottom feeders so you will need to adapt your technique to catch them. They are frequently taken along with Crimson Seaperch that inhabit the same areas.

When you do hook a Large-Mouth Nannygai, be ready for a great fight. Be careful not to strike at the fish too early because they are known for letting go of bait and lures. It’s best to prick them a few times to ensure you get the battle you are looking for.

Be ready with medium to heavy tackle. The best baits are Pilchards, Garfish, Mullet, squid and prawns.

Be careful regarding your catch because there are regulations for bag limits and minimum and maximum lengths are subject to change and review by the appropriate State Fisheries Department.