Depending on where you live, this fish can be known as a cattle dog cod, a blue maori cod or a purple rock cod. Whatever you call them, they are a prized catch and Kale Faull was stoked with this specimen.

Reef fish Bundaberg

Recently we have had a couple of small weather windows to head offshore from Bundaberg to chase a few reef species. By putting in the research, time and effort you can be rewarded with some great fish off Bundaberg.

Generally, red emperor and a mix of other tasty reefies are the target species, so I’ll usually head out 35NM from the ramp to the deeper water of 40m plus and start searching, if the weather permits.

A lot of good ground is inside the shelf, but it can be a bit hit and miss, so it pays to move around. Fresh flesh bait and squid on a paternoster rig works a treat.

Andy Watson caught a decent red emperor in 52m off Bundaberg.


We’ve caught some nice red emperor, blue maori cod, brown maori cod, green jobfish, quality tuskfish and the usual hussar, which often become red bait – though they are first-class eating too.

Cobia have been in good numbers and sure put up a great fight. They can be quite dangerous when you bring them aboard though.

I’ve heard a few stories of hooks and lures being thrown into legs as they thrash around on deck, so take care and subdue them quickly if you plan to take one home for dinner.

Cobia can be found on wrecks and shoal country as well as around large marine animals such as sharks, rays and turtles.

Kale Faull with a nice cobia caught off Burnett Heads.


They aren’t afraid to check out a boat and if you have a curious cobia hanging around, flick out an unweighted pillie or squid and let the cobia swallow it and swim away before flicking over the bail arm.

A bait that isn’t wafting naturally more than likely won’t get touched. Freshly cooked cobia on fresh wraps with mayonnaise is a real winner.

Mack tuna are in good numbers off Bundaberg too – simply look for the feeding birds. If you can locate the larger fish, they are a sucker for a 55g Halco Twisty in gold retrieved at speed.


About Matt Potter

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