Jackass morwong are found on open, flat sandy regions of the continental shelf and around reef margins all around Tasmania but are more commonly caught on the east and south coasts from 10-300 metres deep.
During daylight hours, juvenile morwong will feed in schools on or near the bottom where they are commonly caught by fishers using nets or lines. This species can be caught on lines using fish flesh, prawns or sandworms. They provide excellent sport on light tackle.
Fragile dorsal spines and a thick anal spine capable of causing painful puncture wounds.
Large scales and a black membrane lining the gut usually need to be removed. Jackass morwong has firm, white mildly flavoured flesh and tastes best grilled fresh, skin on or as skinless fillets. Also suitable to bake, barbeque, shallow or deep fry, marinate or steam.
Recipe: Donna’s Poached Fish - Camp Oven Style:
Best in a camp oven with the fish you catch on the day, but can be done in oven or BBQ with lid.
Fresh fish such as morwong prepared in thick fillets, skin on so it holds together when serving. The quantity you use depends on size of camp oven.
Place fish skin side down in camp oven. Pour in 1 cup water. Sprinkle or rub onto flesh a mix of 1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon garlic powder (if camping, can pre-mix and store in snap lock bag). Place thin slices of butter and lemon on top of seasoned fish. Cover camp oven (fit lid tightly to reduce steam escaping). Place over fire - direct heat is okay. Cook approximately 20-30 minutes or until flesh flakes away.