Estuary Cobbler

Cnidoglanis Macrocephalus
Estuary Cobbler - Marinewise © 2023 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Cnidoglanis Macrocephalus
Other names Cobbler, Estuarine Cat-fish, Estuary Catfish, South Australian Catfish
Size Up to 91 cm (35.8 in)
Weight Up to 2.5 kg (5.5 lb)


Habitat & AU Distribution Coastal waters, estuaries, bays, inlets & river mouths, sandy and muddy areas, rocks and seagrass
Depth Range 0 - 20 m (65 ft)
Estuary Cobbler Distribution

Interesting Info

  • Estuary Cobbler is a shallow water species living in both brackish and marine waters. They are commonly found on the east coast from southern QLD down to VIC, SA & southern WA.
  • They have a distinctive shovel-shaped head that is wide and flat, with a long, slender body and a smooth, scaleless skin.
  • They do have venomous spines on their dorsal and pectoral fins.
  • Estuary cobblers are solitary creatures and are not known to form schools or social groups.
  • Cobblers are a nocturnal fish, hiding under structure, holes & bank ledges during the day.
  • The Estuary Cobbler is also known for its ability to survive in low-oxygen environments, which allows it to thrive in the murky, brackish waters of estuaries.
  • Estuary Cobbler are omnivores, feeding on smaller fish, crustaceans, worms, molluscs, algae & organic debris.
  • Estimated lifespan is up to 20 years with the fish maturing between 3 & 4 years of age.
  • The main predators of the cobbler include sharks, larger predatory fish & marine birds.
  • They are sometimes referred to as “living fossils” because they are one of the oldest known species of catfish, with fossil records dating back over 100 million years.
Species Interaction

Aquariums & Recreational Fishing

Estuary Cobbler are not a targeted angler species and is often caught as bycatch. They do have some popularity amongst the aquarium trade as they are a hardy, unique and colourful fish.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Siluriformes

Family: Plotosidae

Genus: Cnidoglanis

Species: Cnidoglanis macrocephalus

Conservation Status

Based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)Estuary Cobbler are categorised as “Data Deficient” as there is not enough information on the species for proper assessment.
However, as its a fast growing species there are limited concerns of over fishing.

Fish Taste Quality

Estuary Cobbler are a average table fish. Often served as fillets.

Taste Rating: 3/5

How to catch
Estuary Cobbler

Catch Difficulty: Easy

Tackle: Patternoster Rig, Running Sinker Rig

Bait: Anchovy, Fresh cut flesh baits, Herring, Pilchards, Prawns, Squid, Worms

Technique: Keep bait on the bottom

Popularity: Not targeted

Estuary Cobbler
As Aquarium Fish

Care Level: Easy to moderate

Temperament: Peaceful

Diet: Omnivore

Reef Compatible: Yes

Minimum Tank Size: 250+ gallons

error: Alert: Content selection is disabled!!