Belonging to the Monacanthidae family, the Leatherjacket ⁢is a ‍distinctive species of fish known for its tough, leathery skin and spiny dorsal fin. This feisty aquatic⁣ resident has ‍a variety of individual species under its banner, including the elusive Six-spined Leatherjacket and the ‌common‍ Yellowfin Leatherjacket.

Conservation Status

The Leatherjacket⁤ is currently listed as of “Least Concern” in terms of conservation status. This is mainly due to their widespread‍ distribution and relatively high abundance. However, continuous conservation efforts are still in place globally to maintain their population, with ⁢restriction on overfishing and habitat protection measures being top priorities.


Average Range
Length 18 inches 6-30 inches
Weight 2 lbs 0.5-4 lbs

The average lifespan ⁢of a Leatherjacket is around 9 years, though some have been⁢ known⁢ to live up⁢ to 15 ​years in optimum conditions.


Leatherjackets are⁤ found in oceans worldwide, predominantly in warmer, coastal waters. However, they do migrate‌ into​ cooler​ areas and can ⁤be found in places ⁢such as the Mediterranean Sea, the⁤ Western​ Atlantic, and even parts of the Pacific Ocean.


Preferring warmer waters, Leatherjackets can be found in seawater, typically at depths ‌ranging from 5 to 200 meters,​ though they​ can be found⁤ at greater⁣ depths. The temperature range most suitable for them is between 20°C and 28°C.

When and Where to See

This species is year-round active,​ but⁤ it is observed that they are most active during the warmer months. The best time to⁣ spot⁢ them is ⁤from late spring to early fall, during daylight hours when these diurnally-active fish are most⁢ likely to‍ be feeding ‍near the water’s surface.

Best Fishing Locations and Tips

Leatherjackets ⁢can be⁣ found in numerous locations​ globally, some of the​ popular fishing spots include:

  1. Great Barrier Reef, Australia
  2. California, United ⁢States
  3. Maldives, Indian‌ Ocean
  4. Polynesia,⁤ South Pacific‍ Ocean
  5. Cyprus, Mediterranean Sea

If specific‌ locations are ‍not known, look for areas with abundant reef life as Leatherjackets often find shelter amidst coral reefs.

How to Catch

Small crustaceans and⁤ invertebrates make the best bait for Leatherjackets. Bottom fishing during daylight hours gives the best results.

Identification Guide

Leatherjackets are very distinct fish with elongated bodies, small heads, tough, leathery skin, and spiny⁣ dorsal ⁣fins. They range in color from muted greens and ‌browns to bright yellows, reds, and even blues.


Leatherjacket fish has a slightly sweet,⁣ delicate flavor and firm texture. Their​ high collagen content gives the fish a ‍unique ‌’gelatinous’​ quality when cooked. The fish is most commonly​ grilled or used in soups.

Additional‌ Information

Leatherjackets are ⁤generally solitary fish⁢ that feed on small invertebrates, mollusks, and crustaceans. They are known to⁣ display complex mating rituals which include elaborate‌ color ‌displays and dances. Their⁣ natural predators include larger fish species ‍and sea birds.

References and⁢ Further Reading

For more information, consider these ⁣sources⁣ (links open in new tab):

  1. Fishbase
  2. Animal Diversity Web
  3. IUCN Red List

Responsible fishing practices and⁢ habitat conservation are key⁢ to ensure the sustainability of this unique species