Flathead - Tiger

Other names: king flathead, deepsea flathead

Scientific name:Neoplatycephalus richardsoni

Minimum size: 32 cm  

Bag limit: 20 (sand and tiger flathead combined)

Possession limit: 30 (sand and tiger flathead combined)

Identifying features: Tiger flathead has a rounder body shape than other flatheads.  It is a light brown or pinkish grey colour on the body with orange-brown spots.  Dark bands of colour may also be present on the body.  This species has larger canine teeth than sand flathead and may live up to 17 years. The lower spine on the gill cover is longer than the upper spine.

Grows to: Up to 65 cm and 2.5 kg.

Habitat: Tiger flathead are generally found both inshore and on the continental shelf between 10 and 160 metres.  

Fishing information: Usually caught in deeper, offshore waters but occasionally taken by recreational fishers closer inshore.  Taken using similar gear and fishing techniques used for southern sand flathead.  Distributed all around Tasmania but more commonly caught off the south and east coasts.

Responsible fishing tips: Flathead have good survival rates when handled correctly, depending on hooks and fishing techniques used.  Use circle and barbless hooks on your line and a fish de-hooker to quickly return undersize flathead to the water.

Handling: Beware of short, sharp spines on the flathead’s gill covers and dorsal fin.  

Cooking: Low oil content with a pleasant, sweet flavour.  Fine textured flesh which can dry out slightly with some cooking methods but remains moist and flaky when cooked in batter.  The long shape of flathead means that it fillets well as most of the bones are at the head section of the fish.   Also retains moisture well when cooked as whole fish.  Suitable to bake in foil, shallow or deep fry, marinate, poach or steam.

Flathead Fact Sheets

How to Increase the Survival of Released Flathead
How to Release Flathead using a Fish De-hooker

Fish illustration by Peter Gouldthorpe

Fish for the Future