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Fish Of The Month: Red Emperor (lutjanus Sebae)

Published On : Mar 20, 2021
Fish of the Month: Red Emperor (Lutjanus sebae)
While mainly a reef and offshore fish, young red emperor along with many other juvenile reef fish species, frequent the shallow waters of Moreton Bay before moving out to deeper water as they mature.

Juveniles are distinguished from adults by three dark red/brown vertical bands with a pale background colouration. As they grow, they change to a pink/red colour, while the banding fades to nearly gone completely.

I’ve caught and filmed quite a few not far from Redcliffe and across to Moreton Island. Although, having caught fish over 10kg out on the Great Barrier Reef, I am yet to get one of legal size (55cm) in the Bay.

Growing to over a metre long and over 30kg with a tasty firm white flesh, large flakes and a delicate flavour, they are superb eating quality and rate 5/5 stars for me. I like grilled fillets, but if baked whole they also make an incredible centrepiece for any large dinner gathering.

 Peter Hansler is a local fish enthusiast who promotes and educates about our native fish and responsible angling via his website If you have a question for Peter you can reach him via email at