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Become a grunter hunter

July 20, 2021 2 min read


Become a grunter hunter by Addict Tackle

There are a few species of saltwater grunter, or javelin in Australia, namely the silver, blotched and barred javelin. These fish are found across most of temperate and tropical Australia in the estuaries and sometimes offshore, particularly when they get to larger sizes. These fish pull hard, taste great, and can often be caught in decent numbers once a school is found. Despite these seemingly winning traits, grunter don’t get a lot of attention next to other estuary species such as mangrove jack and barramundi.

Like other predators that share the estuary with them, they tend to focus their feeding effort on jelly prawns and small baitfish species, so it goes without saying that smaller presentations are the go-to for sport fishers. Plastics such as the Daiwa Bait Junkie Minnow, ZMan Slim Swimz Soft Plastic and Chasebaits Flick Prawn are a good starting point.

Bait anglers also have a lot of success on grunter, perhaps more so than lure anglers. Small live baits of herring, mullet and prawns will draw the attention of hungry grunter, but so too will soft dead baits like squid or fish flesh.

Finding grunter consistently can prove a challenge, as they don’t always hang close to obvious structures like many other estuary predators do. For this reason, grunter are often targeted during their breeding season, and while their exact breeding period will depend on the system, generally it falls during the cooler months. Grunter will form huge shoals around creek and river mouths, and a good sounder is invaluable when looking for these shoals. In some areas, the assembly point is the same each season, and old timers can find their way to a grunter shoal by  memory. This has traditionally been the realm of baits, but if you’re a lure fisher and you find yourself parked up a decent grunter school, soft vibe presentations such as the Zerek Fish Trap 65mm and Jackall Transam Soft Vibe will get the job done if they’re deployed delicately.

Once you have a few grunter in the bag, you’ll be very surprised by their eating quality, with some anglers preferring their succulent white fillets to barramundi and threadfin salmon.

Don’t knock these guys back as either a sporting proposition or a good feed, and put grunter on your northern estuary bucket list if you haven’t already!

3 Responses

Carey (Wal)
Carey (Wal)

August 08, 2023

Yes caught plenty of Grunter Barron river half moon bay . Guess what all the fish were 5mm under size with scales missing due to the nets have yet to see a legal fish cheers everybody

Faizan Ahmad Khan
Faizan Ahmad Khan

August 08, 2023

Here in UAE, whenever I am going for fishing, catching this fish.(Mostly wet seasons)
Here grunter sizes are great and too much activity in very early morning time to 11:00 AM on high tides.

Mostly they are found in muddy sea bed and sandy areas from shore.
Nice to play this fish with regular size hooks and rod.

Happy fishing….

John Clemones
John Clemones

March 23, 2023

Luv Grunter, eating & catching, yet I’ve not caught a legal size, but last effort had me a 5cm undersized Grunter up in the Bundaberg region, which went back into the river. But the fight, on real light gear, for about 15 minutes, allowed me to play it into the boat. I’ll get a 40cm yet. Beautiful Eating & we were treated to a friends catch of legal sized Grunter. Yum, yum !! Bread Crumbed even better.

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