Australian Bass

Macquaria novemaculeata

Other names: Australian perch, bass, freshwater perch.

Family: Percichthyidae (temperate basses).


Mainly caught recreationally, it is often found in farm dams. It lives in fresh and brackish water and is found in estuaries, rivers, small streams and lakes of eastern Australia from Gippsland (Vic) to the start of Queensland’s Mary River system. Its colour varies from bronze to greyish green depending on its habitat. It is endemic to Australia.

Season: Supply is limited.

Size and Weight: Average 1kg and 35cm, but can grow to 4.5kg and 65cm.

Price: Medium priced.


Eastern freshwater cod, estuary perch, golden cod, Mary River cod, Murray cod, and trout cod.

To Buy:

In whole fish look for lustrous skin with a slippery, mucilaginous coating, firm flesh, and a pleasant, fresh smell. In fillets, look for pinkish, firm, lustrous, moist flesh without any brown markings or oozing water and with a pleasant fresh smell.

To Store:

Make sure whole fish is scaled, gilled, gutted and cleaned thoroughly. Lay whole fish and fillets in a single layer on a plate and cover with plastic wrap or place in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze whole fish for up to 6 months, and fillets for up to 3 months, below -18ºC.

To Cook:

Yield is 45-50%. Has a mild flavour, low oiliness and moist, flesh with medium-texture, large flakes and few bones, which are easily removed. The thick skin is best removed.

Cooking Methods:

Steam, deep-fry, pan-fry, bake, grill, barbecue.

Goes well with:

Asian greens, chilli, fresh herbs, lemon, lime, soy sauce, white wine. Good barbecued or baked wrapped in paperbark or banana leaves.


Blue-Eye Trevalla, Lings, Gemfish, Mulloway, Threadfin Salmon.




Barbecued Silver Perch Fillets with Eggplant & Tomato Salsa >
Baked Whole Golden Perch with Olive & Walnut Stuffing >