Information & Photo's Of South Africa's Cape Dory (Zeus Capensis)
The Cape Dory (Zeus Capensis) is a very distinguishable saltwater fish as you can see from the image on the left. Not a lot is known about the Cape Dory which also goes by the names of the Common Dory, the Cape John Dory and the Latin name Zeus Capensis. The Cape Dory occurs all along the South African coast line and can be found in shallow water reefs and deeper water up to 300 meters! They occur from the top of Mozambique to St. Helena Bay in Namibia. The Cape Dory is considered a fine eating fish and can attain lengths of up to 100 centimeters.
The Cape Dory (Zeus Capensis) is mainly found at the bottom of of the ocean but in the case where it occurs in deeper reefs it can be found in the mid water area. The Cape Dory feeds mainly on small fish and crustaceans. The Cape Dory is listed as least concern on the IUCN Red List and is a popular frozen fish in certain parts of Southern Africa. The Cape Dory might often be confused with its cousin the (Target) John Dory but after a closer inspection one can tell the difference as the Cape Dory lacks the distinctive spot the John Dory has and it is often a lot lighter in colour too. This is probably where the Cape Dory's alternative name came from: "The Cape John Dory". The Cape Dory has a fainter black spot above it's lateral line as well. The Cape Dory might eventually become a rare fish as it's flesh is very tasty and is becoming a very popular eating fish, but at the moment their numbers are stable.
How To Catch The Cape Dory (Zeus Capensis)?
The Cape Dory can be caught in a variety of ways on a lot of different fishing tackle but in South African waters these are the most common ways to catch this fish... Fishing pressure is currently thought not to be of a threat to the Cape Dory although quite a few are taken in commercial trawl nets around the West Coast of Southern Africa. And the Cape Dory is a by catch of a lot of Hake fishing boats.
The Cape Dory can be caught with various baits such as Chokka, sardine and mackerel. The Cape Dory is also caught by Snoek fishermen and is fond of taking a vertical jig and occasionally a chokka jig. Heavy tackle is not needed to catch the Cape Dory as it is not a good fighter but as this fish is very rarely specifically targeted heavy tackle is normally used to target other saltwater fish species. If you do want to target this fish it is best to have a reel with a lot of line capacity as the areas it occurs can be in very deep water... There have even been reports of the Cape Dory occurring in depths of up to 450 meters.