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John Dory

John Dory 700

Zeus faber

RECORD:  4.95kg, A. Rae, Cape Terawhiti, 1986.


Among the best eating fish out there, John Dory are highly prized by the spearo despite being an easy target.  A very distinctive fish, it is dark-olive to brown and highly compressed making it nearly invisible from the surface.   It has a large spot on it's sides and large dorsal spines.


Size:                                    -

Bag limit:                           Part of 20 finfish limit


JDs are a carnivorous fish commonly found on weedlines and kelp beds.  They are a poor swimmer and rely on stealth and camouflage to stalk their prey of small baitfish.  When within range they extend their bellows-like mouth and suck in their dinner.


JDs are a very easy fish to shoot as they cannot dart off like other fish can and their main defence strategy seems to be to turn side-on and try to scare predators away with their eye-like target/spot.

The hardest bit is trying to find them.  JDs are a master of diguise and are almost impossible to see when you are above them.  For this reason you should dive down to the bottom and look for them at their level but don't try and approach them head on.  Like most weedline species you need to get above them and descend straight down on them as they will sit perfectly still and hope you can't see them.  Anywhere you see schools of baitfish a JD is likely not far off.  John Dory also respond particularly well to flasher rigs which mimic their prey.

Matt JD UW 700