- Grass Emperor are a schooling fish living in both brackish and marine waters. Adults are commonly found over coral reefs, whilst juvenile fish can be found in seagrass beds and mangrove estuaries. They are common across the northern parts of Australia spanning from WA to QLD.
- They are a popular sports fish but should not be targeted for catch and release as they suffer from barotrauma in depths of 10 m (32 ft) or greater.
- Distinguishing feature when compared to other emperor species are the neon blue markings near its eyes and head area.
- Grass Emperor are carnivores, feeding on smaller fish and crustaceans.
- Estimated lifespan is around 12 years with the fish maturing between 3 & 4 years of age.
- The main predators of the Grass Emperor include sharks and larger predatory fish.
Commercial & Recreational Fishing
Grass Emperors are a highly targeted fish as they have a strong fight and are a great table fish. As the Grass Emperor is a good eating fish, it does have economic relevance and is commercially fished.
Species: Lethrinus laticaudis
Based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)Grass Emperor 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
Grass Emperor are a good table fish. Often served whole or as fillets.
Taste Rating: 4/5
How to catch
Catch Difficulty: Intermediate
Tackle: Patternoster Rig, Running Sinker Rig, Artificial Rig
Bait: Anchovy, Crab, Fresh cut flesh baits, Herring, Lures, Pilchards, Prawns, Squid, Soft plastics
Technique: Keep bait close to the reef/structure, Cast lures close to structure
Popularity: Highly Targeted