Sphyraena Novaehollandiae
Snook - Marinewise © 2023 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Sphyraena Novaehollandiae
Other names Australian Barracuda, Pike, Sea Pike, Shortfin Pike, Short Finned Sea Pike, Striped Barracuda, Yellowtail
Size Up to 1.1 m (3.6 ft)
Weight Up to 5 kg (11 lbs)


Habitat & AU Distribution Bays, seagrass beds, kelp reefs, sandy inshore reef edges with seagrass
Depth Range
Snook Distribution

Interesting Info

  • Snook are an aggressive predatory fish that can be found in shallow patches of seagrass, weed & sandy areas of reefs to depths of 30 m (98 ft).
  • They are ambush hunters but also actively chase its prey, which includes smaller reef & baitfish, crustaceans & bloodworms.
  • Snook are a migratory species preferring cooler inshore waters. They can be found in large shoals patrolling coastal waters.
  • Estimates on lifespan are up to 20 years, maturing around 2 years of age.
  • They are a popular sports fish amongst anglers on light tackle.
  • The main predators of Snook include sharks, tuna, large groper and larger predatory fish.
Species Interaction

Recreational & Commercial Fishing

Snook are a popular sports fish known for their aggressiveness and strong fight. They are commonly found around inshore seagrass & weed beds often near reefs patrolling for prey. They can be found in large schools or hunting in smaller packs. Often spotted by recreational snorkelers & scuba divers.

The Australian distribution for Snook includes waters from southern Western Australia around South Australia & Victoria and up through New South Wales into southern parts of Queensland.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Scombriformes

Family: Sphyraenidae

Genus: Sphyraena

Species: Sphyraena novaehollandiae

Conservation Status

Snook are not evaluated on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) site. However, as its a fast growing species there are limited concerns of over fishing.

Fish Taste Quality

Snook are a highly rated sports and eating fish. They have a soft white flesh popular in many types of dishes.

Taste Rating: 4/5

How to catch

Catch Difficulty: Easy

Tackle: Running Sinker Rig, Artificial Rig

Bait: Anchovy, Herring, Lures, Pilchards, Prawns, Squid, Soft plastics, Live minnow

Technique: Slowly sink bait towards bottom, Cast bait/jig/lure near schooling fish, Trolling, Cast lures with a fast retrieve

Popularity: Popular

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