Black Musselcracker


The Black Musselcracker is a sought after saltwater fishing species and many anglers specifically target these fish.

(Cymatoceps Nasutus)

Black Musselcracker


Black Musselcracker

Other Names

Poenskop, Black Steenbras, Bank-Blouer, Swart Biskop

Identification of the Black Musselcracker

A robust built fish with a large head and a prominent nose that develops with age. This fish has powerfull jaws and teeth used to crush it’s prey. The body colour of the Black Musselcracker is blue to steely black with a white belly. These fish can grow to a size of over 40 kilograms.

Distribution of this fish

From Cape Agulhas in the south to the North Eastern border of South Africa.

How to locate the Black Musselcracker

In general these fish tend to favour deep, rocky reefs and ledges closer to shore. The Black Musselcracker can also be found in deep rocky gullies with clear warm waters.

Baits to use

Crabs, fish fillet, Steentjie, Karranteen or whole fish (dead or alive) works well for these fish. Other baits to use include rock lobster, small octopus, red bait or mussels can also be used.

Tackle to use when hunting Black Musselcracker

Heavy tackle with lines of at least 12 kg breaking strain and a good quality multiplier reel is recommended. Hooks to use are between the size of 5/0 and 8/0 and they must be as sharp as possible to increase the chances of a hook-up.

Video of Black Musselcracker

Here is a very short video of a Black Musselcracker at uShaka Marine World.

You can see from this video that this fish is almost bully-like in it’s build and it gives you the knowledge that it would put up a good fight.