Glaucosoma hebraicum, Western Australian dhufish, dewies, jewfish and jewies (although jewfish are very different to dhufish).
Dhufish are not easily mistaken for other species because of their distinct appearance. Dhufish have a large head and robust body, their body ranges in colour from silver to grey, often with a mauve tinge and in younger individuals horizontal. They have a distinctive black stripe across their eye which is less prominent in older individuals and males can possess an elongated dorsal ray. Most fish are caught at 3-8kg but they can reach up to 25kgs.
Found from Shark Bay in the north to Esperance in the south. These fish are mostly found in waters 5-100m deep, associated with structures such as reefs and caves. Dhufish can also be found away from reefs and over sandy or flat coral bottoms during the breeding season (December- March). The issue with these iconic fish, often caught at depths greater than 20m, is the risk of barotrauma (swim bladder expanding and placing pressure on internal organs). The risk of mortality after release can be minimised by using a release weight.
Rigs and Techniques
A short, heavy rod with an overhead reel and heavy braided line with a mono leader is a good set up for Dhuies. Adjust the leader for where you are fishing for dhufish – if it’s reefs and cave structures use a heavier leader, towards 80lb.
The most effective way to catch Dhuies is to use a drifting method. The most common rig for drifting is a deep water two-hook dropper loop rig with a sinker that is as small as you can get but that will still keep your bait on the bottom. Preferred baits are live bait, squid, pilchards and whole fish. A speed of 0.2-0.4 knots is preferable but can depend on the conditions and the rig you are using. You want to make sure you keep you bait on the bottom and preferably have it slide along the bottom rather than bounce.
Another, less popular, but often effective fishing method for catching Dhuies is bottom jigging with jigs, rattling lures or soft plastics. This works best if you drop them right to the bottom and bump them along the bottom, trying to mimic natural bait movements.