Species Guide


Dhuie, Western dhuie
Scientific Name
Glaucasoma hebraicum
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This article was written by Black Magic Brand Ambassador Jack Rush, an experienced saltwater angler from Perth, Australia. He loves getting out on the water chasing a number of saltwater species, but can also be found fishing off the beach for bait fish with his three sons. In this article he shares his knowledge and advice on how to target the remarkable dhufish.


Dhufish can live a long life, up to about 40 years. Spawning happens between November and April (with a peak season between December and March).

As with most bottom dwelling fish, they are slow growing. Their growth rate is at its fastest when they’re young, with their growth rate slowing down around 12 years of age.

They can grow to over a meter in length and weight more than 25kg, reaching their maximum size by about 20 years old.

Adult male dhufish are often bigger than females, and you can distinguish males by their elongated filament on the dorsal ray.


They’re a pearlescent silver-grey colour, broken up by dark stripes. These stripes are prominent in juveniles, but fade as the fish matures at 3-4 years old. They have a distinctive dark stripe over their eye and the dorsal ray is quite elongated, especially in males.

Dhufish have large eyes, which are used to seek out their prey at night, and their large mouths allows to the eat large prey including other fish, crustaceans and molluscs such as squid and octopus.


Dhufish have been found off the Recherche Archipelago near Esperance, and as far north as Shark Bay. However, they’re most common along WA’s lower west coast between Kalbarri and Augusta.

Dhufish are ‘demersal’ meaning they live near the seabed (often called ‘bottom dwellers’). They also tend to live close to shore.

Adult dhufish prefer to live around rocky outcrops and ledges or over broken weedy ground, and they’ll usually be found in water 20-50 meters deep. However, they can sometimes be found in water as shallow as 5 meters.

Dhufish can be targeted all year round, excluding closed seasons. Western Australia has limits of the size of fish you can catch, how many you can take and when you can catch them. You can find more information here.


When hooked a dhufish will head straight for their ledge, reef or cave, so you’ll need a strong gear set up to ensure you can wrestle any hooked fish out of their environment. Jack recommends a 10-15kg rod with a 10,000 size reel, rigged with 50lb braid. Braid has less stretch meaning its more sensitive to bites making it more effective when fishing at depth.

The best way to target dhufish is ‘bottom bouncing’ while drifting over reefs, ledges or rocky outcrops, with big, fresh baits on a paternoster style rig, like our Snapper Snatcher® or Snapper Snack® rigs.

If you’re making your own rig, ensure you use a 60lb – 80lb leader, with a high level of abrasion resistance, so to handle being scrapped on the structure dhufish are usually found hiding in.

These rigs are highly effective, especially when you add octopus, squid, wrasse, herring or whiting as bait. Remember that dhufish have large mouths, so they can take big baits – so don’t skimp on the bait you’re offering.

Another effective technique is to have the skipper hold the boat right above likely looking ground, and then drop metal jigs or large soft plastic lures straight to the bottom. The enticing movement of the jigs/lures will draw dhufish out from their hiding spot.

When you’re bringing up fish from depth, the chances of them being affected by barotrauma is very high. Barotrauma happens when the fish is bought to the surface quickly, which results in gases expanding within the fish’s body.

This can cause their eyes to bulge and/or their stomachs to push out through their mouths or gills. This severely diminishes their chance of a safe release, so this needs to be considered when you’re targeting this species.

There is a lot of research being done into methods of improving the mortality rate of bottom dwelling fish like dhufish, using methods like release weights. You can read more about it here.


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