Red rock cod is one of our favourite Sydney fish to eat. Whilst they're not the most challenging fish to hunt, we can guarantee you that they are delicious. They're nicknamed the poor man's lobster for their sweet, springy flesh. Being a master of camouflage, they can be hard to spot but today we're going to give you a few tips on how to find them and our favourite way to cook them.
How To Catch Red Rock Cod
First things first, make sure you’re completely geared with the right spearfishing equipment. Once complete, now it’s time to go to some rocky hotspots and search for red rock cods.
Red rock cods are ambush predators. They blend into their environment. They like to hide in caves and ledges and wait for their prey to come too close. An environment with a long thin ledge at its base with lots of nearby rocks gives a rock cod plenty of places to hide.
Dropping some old fish frames of chum in these areas will usually lure a rocky out of its cave. Give it a couple of dabs to see if it works. If not, keep looking elsewhere and come back in about 15 minutes. When you come back, you'll often find one or two rockies sitting out in broad daylight in a total food coma.
A red rock cod’s diet consists of fish, crabs, and even octopus. It is no wonder that they taste so amazing. Apart from spotting it, the hardest part about shooting a rocky is to do so without damaging your spear. If you can, try and get around them so your spear has a clear path behind it.
If you have no choice, you can also try unloading a rubber on your gun or reduce the power and travel of your spear by choking the rubbers halfway along the barrel. If you have large shark fin tabs on your spear or metal bridles, this is a really good way to damage your hand.
Safety Reminders In Catching Red Rock Cods
Be careful as rockies have 12 venomous dorsal spines and if you get stung by one, you're definitely going to know about it. You can feel excruciating pain that can last for half a day. Fortunately, the poison is denatured by heat, so if you do get stung by one, run the area under the hottest water you can handle to kill the proteins and get rid of the pain. The safest way to handle a red rock cod is by grabbing it at the bottom lip or pinching the eyes to avoid the spines.
Just a safety reminder that red rock cods are great in camouflage and they could just be sitting in the rocks as you hunt. They may just sit on the bottom, camouflage and then just come up and smash whatever comes over them. Always be careful with their dorsal spines, especially the front ones as it can give you a nasty sting.