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Bar Cod or Banded Rock Cod (Epinephelus ergastularius) Photographs and Information

Bar Cod or Banded Rock Cod are mottled grey with six vivid vertical bands of darker tones.  When fully grown they are dark grey, the bands having faded out except for a patch on the upper surface of the butt of the tail  It's a bulky, thick-bodied fish with a large mouth.

Also known as Saddled Cod, Bar Cod and Banded Cod, Bar rockcod, Down-under grouper, Grey-banded rock-cod, Rockcod.

The juvenile Bar Cod are mottled grey with six vivid vertical bands of darker tones.  When fully grown they are dark grey, the bands having faded out except for a patch on the upper surface of the butt of the tail  It's a bulky, thick-bodied fish with a large mouth.

They can grow to 45kg, but only the smaller fish (to about 4kg) are good eating.   The larger fish's flesh is very coarse. 

They frequent offshore reefs both inshore and offshore and are occasionally found in estuaries.

Good bait for Bar Cod are cunjevoi or fish fillet.

Bar Cod, reefcod, reef cod, banded reef cod, banded cod

banded rock cod, Epinephelus ergastularius, bar cod, reef cod, cod fish,

Grouper or Sea Bass (Epinephelus species)
French: Merou
German: Zackenbarsch
Italian: Cernia; Sciarrano
Spanish: Mero; Cherna; Garoupa
Japanese: Mahata
Hawaii names: Hapu`upu`u

bar cod, banded rock cod, Epinephelus ergastularius, reef cod, cod fish,

Map showing where Bar Cod, Banded Grouper are found in Australian waters.



Scientific Name Epinephelus ergastularius
Location in Australia Northern Australia, south east to Sydney
Season All year round
Size To 45kg
Australian Species Code 37 441005


Nutritional Information
For every 100 grams raw product
for Reef Cod fillet.

Kilojoules n/a
Cholesterol 27 mg
Sodium n/a
Total fat (oil) 0.6 g
Saturated fat 35% of total fat
Monounsaturated fat 16% of total fat
Polyunsaturated fat 49% of total fat
Omega-3, EPA 13 mg
Omega-3, DHA 152 mg
Omega-6, AA 25 mg

Angling for Bar Cod | Catching Rockcod:

In Australia, fishing for Rock Cod is done year-round by both private and commercial fishermen.  Live baits should be your first choice if specifically targeting Cod on bait, they will eat anything but the usual baits of Mullet, Herring and Pike are all good for inshore with yellowtail, slimey mackerel and small but legal reef species for offshore. Any lure is acceptable for Cod so long as itís tough and fished at the right depth in the right area.

Soft plastics are well worth a drop to the bottom. The bar cod seem to eat them fairly aggressively if they are there in numbers.


Cooking Bar Cod:

Popular for their low oiliness and juicy, thick flakes, rockcods are worth experimenting with for hearty menu items. They are especially good fried, barbecued or steamed as fillets or steaks. Grilled rockcod steaks are excellent served with pepperonata or tapenade.  The flesh of this fish is white, flaky, and tender. The taste is slightly sweet and mild with a somewhat fishy taste and odor. The fish contains very little fat, so it is a healthy meal choice. It is delicious when fried, but is also popular smoked or in sushi dishes.

Commercial Fishing for Bar Cod:

Coral reef fish are caught by hook and line along the length of the Great Barrier Reef from the Torres Strait south to Fraser Island, and from the inshore reefs to the outer barrier reefs. The main targets for the line fishery are coral trout, red throat emperor, Spanish mackerel and red emperor.


80kg banded rock cod, Epinephelus ergastularius, huge reef cod
80kg Bar Cod





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