Greyband vs Eight Bar cod, Ningaloo region.

  re the topic this came from, where you said you were interested in the greyband----Has the interest come about after Jarrad Oxley of YBS fame submitted the tissue sample and otoliths from the one they caught in the video? I caught one last year north of Winderabandi point on Ningaloo station from 280m that bottomed 23kg scales. I laughed when they did the cook'n'catch segment...wait for it..." a bit chewy". just as ours was, but not wasted, curries, etc. I have been in a debate with a gentleman of Queensland origin  who reckons the 8-bar and the greybar are one and the same fish, just showing bars under stress. I have caught both , I don't agree with him. This is an 8 bar I caught this year, largest of several, bottoming 23kg scales.



# came up at once, other two were smaller, all showed bars. Bars are clearly visible , even after death. Dorsal spine count is 11, spines on pre-operculum may differ to what was called a geyband last year, aka the Dad-Bod Cod . Below is my Greyband from last year--only bars you can see are shadowns form the rocket launcher. Another smaller greyband from this year. No barring shown at any stage To finish it off, what is this bloke? Blunt-headed cod, according to the old Hutchins/Swainston book on the North west? Distinctive orange colouration under the chin/gill area, distinctive yellow patch either side of the mouth. came from 140m.

Image Upload: 

sealure's picture

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 Last one is known as Banded

Fri, 2020-07-03 14:22

 Last one is known as Banded Cod, Blunt-headed Rockcod, Yellow-lipped Rock-cod, or Banded Grouper. 
Epinephelus amblycephalus according to my search. 

ranmar850's picture

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Yes, that is what we came up with.

Fri, 2020-07-03 18:23

 Said they only grew to 50cm, he was a bit bigger than that.

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Fri, 2020-07-03 17:52

 Hi  Are you heading to Coral Bay this year ?

sealure's picture

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 Hi CranoCurrently booked

Sat, 2020-07-04 15:53

 Hi Crano

Currently booked 22nd August. Would be great to catch up if you're up there. 

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 We have just had a month

Sat, 2020-07-04 18:54

 We have just had a month there and will head back up on July 20 for two weeks so we will miss you this year. Booked in for seven weeks next year. Hope you get some great weather like we had.

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 Thanks Crano. We're booked

Sun, 2020-07-05 13:13

 Thanks Crano. We're booked for 5 weeks next year so hope to see you then. 
All the best for your coming trip. 

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 I always believed that 8 bar

Fri, 2020-07-03 18:19

 I always believed that 8 bar were grey band


RUSS and SANDY. A family that fishes together stays together

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  Exmouth crew call them

Fri, 2020-07-03 18:58

  Exmouth crew call them "exmouth cod".. and have been catching them for years.. brody is a showman - leaves facts out when he doesnt know them. they are supposedly different from both species. 


sealure's picture

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 I hope Glen will give us the

Sat, 2020-07-04 15:59

 I hope Glen will give us the answers to the questions about Grey band & Eight bar. 
My experience is that Grey band caught in Perth area are much better on the chew than the Eight bar I've caught at Coral Bay. 

I've found the Eight bar to be much tougher. 
I'll wait to hear what Glen has to say 

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Same same

Mon, 2020-07-06 16:57

I've always understood 8 Bar Cod and Greyband Cod to be one and the same.

In regard to toughness, anything up to 6kg is awesome, 6kg-12kg is fantastic, 12kg-20kg is good and above 20kg they start getting tougher and tougher.  Taste of the smaller ones also better.

I've eaten a couple over 35kg.  They are tough as.  I've found the trick is to fillet down the slab rather than a cutlet if you like.  For some reason this breaks the grain and they are much more tender to eat.

The other thing I've noticed with big ones over 30kg is they often have worms in the flesh.  Off putting, but it hasn't killed me yet :-)




sealure's picture

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 Good observations about the

Tue, 2020-07-07 11:07

 Good observations about the weight & toughness. The ones I've caught in Perth area have been smaller than those at Coral Bay. I guess weight +/- age makes a difference to the eating quality of many fish. 

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Right on sealure

Tue, 2020-07-07 15:48

For that very reason I release all tailor that I catch that are over 2 plus kg (not that I have caught a lot over 2 kg) mind you but I do find their eating quality poor.

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Tue, 2020-07-21 09:25

I can answer this one because I've been working on it for years - too long in fact - should have been done by now! We only have a single species of Greyband/Eightbar Grouper/Cod in Western Australia. It belongs to the genus Hyporthodus and does not yet have a species name, but will soon. A collaboration led by Fisheries with the Museum, Curtin Uni and others published a paper a few years ago where, using genetics, we showed that WA has a single species and that it is different to elsewhere in the world. There are two similar species in eastern Australia. The true Eightbar Grouper (Hyporthodus octofasciatus) occurs from Africa across to the central Pacific and down to NZ but in Australia probably only in Qld. The Banded Rockcod or Barcod (Hyporthodus ergastularius) occurs in southern Qld and NSW. You may see the name Hyporthodus septemfasciatus in some books/websites for the WA species - that is a misidentification (that species is only found in Japan, China, Korea). There are also a couple of very rare unbanded Hyporthodus in Australia.

So, all the images above, except the Banded Grouper (last image), are the same species. The banding is quite variable but generally gets less distinctive the bigger the fish is and does change between life, freshly dead and long dead.

Hope that helps,




Glenn Moore

Curator of Fishes

Western Australian Museum

twitter @WestOzFish



sealure's picture

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 Thanks very much Glenn.

Tue, 2020-07-21 15:25

 Thanks very much Glenn. Never too old to learn. Really great to have someone with your knowledge on this site. 

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OK, interesting.

Sat, 2020-07-25 10:19

 The barring "fading with age" is obviously highly variable--the last pic I added above is of a 30kg specimen caught this month by someone I know.   How big do these things grow? Because he also relates a story of a 20kg specimen only caught last week, which was attached to something much larger on the bottom in 300m before the Miya Epoch dragged it free. Strong evidence of it being a much larger cod, judging by the teethmarks and scaling 




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Tue, 2020-07-21 09:48

Thanks Glenn, always good to receive clarification one way or another.