Coral Trout - Reef Fishing

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Instructor: Kevin Adney

Reef fishing in the Indo/Pacific is a serious business, with coral trout being a popular species. Chris Rushford and Ross Newton, from Reel Teaser Fishing Adventures, share their playbook on fishing for coral trout, discussing techniques, lures, and boat operation. They cover water movement, lure choice, cadence, lure size, color, rods, reels, and tackle. The wealth of experience in reef fishing makes learning easy. The video can be applied to other programs and helps fish smarter.

Description / Review / Instructor


    Location: Western Pacific and Eastern Indian Ocean.
    Experience: Magical feeling of the ocean's raw power.
    Fish Characteristics: Powerful fish with exaggerated tail fin structures.
    Main Species: Coral trout with varieties like passionfruit trout, roving coral trout, vermicular coral trout, and bluespotted coral trout.
    Destination: Rowley Shoals in Western Australia with Reel Teaser Fishing Adventures.
    Fishing Experience: Targeting coral trout in the Indo/Pacific waters, exploring Clerke Reef, and understanding the tide movements.
    Key Techniques: Moving constantly, using poppers and stick baits, and understanding the reef structure.

When you venture into the western Pacific and eastern Indian Ocean, and get the opportunity for remote reef fishing, it's transformative. The ocean's raw power against the reef feels almost magical. This ancient dance of nature fosters the growth of incredibly powerful fish. Even the smaller ones exhibit a ferocity in their attacks and a remarkable drag-pulling strength. Their caudal region, or tail fin, is notably thick and wide, reminiscent of a fish on steroids. This is their power source. A staple species here is the coral trout. Their diverse colors, from passionfruit trout to bluespotted coral trout, are mesmerizing. And they're as delicious as they look.

In The Spread Adventure in Western Australia

For In The Spread, I journeyed to Western Australia's Rowley Shoals with Reel Teaser Fishing Adventures. Roddy Hays, a close friend, had spoken highly of the pristine fishing there. The Rowley Shoals are massive atolls atop the continental shelf in the eastern Indian Ocean, rising from depths of over a thousand feet. Reel Teaser Fishing Adventures, with their extensive experience in billfish, reef fishing, and backcountry trips, is the only choice in this region. Their diverse expertise makes them invaluable. Their team, some of the best fishing instructors, provided an unforgettable experience.

Targeting the Coral Trout

Given the widespread presence of coral trout in the Indo/Pacific waters, our goal was to focus on them and share effective reef fishing techniques. This In The Spread video showcases Chris Rushford and the wise Ross Newton exploring Clerke Reef. All our catches were released.

The essence of fishing on these atolls involves navigating the "bommies" or coral heads, the coral trout's stronghold. Tidal movements dictate the fishing windows, and while the conditions might not always be ideal, the abundance of coral trout, including some sizable ones, is undeniable.

Chris Rushford, seasoned beyond his years, offers invaluable insights. He'll guide you through these secluded reefs, sharing his experiences and techniques. Whether you fish in this region or elsewhere, there's something to learn from these experts. Their shared wisdom can be applied universally, enhancing your fishing game.

Reef Fishing Techniques

Chris emphasizes the importance of mobility when fishing these reef structures. Staying in one spot for too long can scare off the fish. Utilize tidal currents for drifts or use your motor to move between spots. This approach exposes you to more fish, increasing your chances of a catch.

Starting with poppers is always a good strategy. If fishing with a partner, one can use a popper while the other opts for a stick bait. Chris and Ross have their preferred lures, with Halco tackle being a top choice. Their expertise in manipulating these lures is evident, and Chris delves deep into the mechanics of his technique.

Both anglers use robust gear, preparing for the potential of a massive fish attacking their lure. They discuss their preferred rod and reel combinations, and the type of line each reel is loaded with.

While this coral trout fishing video is largely tactical, understanding how to navigate the reef is the primary takeaway. Whether you're looking to fish for coral trout on similar reefs or seeking insights for your own fishing endeavors, there's a wealth of knowledge here. Learn from the best and elevate your fishing game.


What makes the Western Pacific and Eastern Indian Ocean special for fishing?
The raw nature of how the ocean interacts with the reef creates a unique environment that stimulates the growth of powerful fish. The fish in this region are known for their ferocity and drag-pulling power.

What is unique about the fish in this region?
Even the smaller fish have a different level of ferocity. Their caudal region or tail fin structure is exaggerated, making them appear as though they have been working out on steroids. This is where their power comes from.

Which species is a mainstay on the reef?
The coral trout is a mainstay species on the reef. They come in a variety of colors, including the passionfruit trout, roving coral trout, vermicular coral trout, and the bluespotted coral trout.

Where did the author travel for fishing?
The author traveled to the Rowley Shoals in Western Australia to fish with Reel Teaser Fishing Adventures.

What are the Rowley Shoals?
The Rowley Shoals are a group of huge atolls that sit on top of the continental shelf in the eastern Indian Ocean. They are giant oval-shaped coral reefs that rise to the surface from over a thousand feet deep.

What is the significance of coral trout in the Indo/Pacific waters?
Coral trout are widely distributed in the Indo/Pacific waters. The fishing experience on the atolls is defined by fishing "bommies" or coral heads, which are the stronghold of the coral trout.

What are some key techniques for fishing in this region?
Some key techniques include constantly moving to cover ground, using poppers and stick baits, understanding the reef structure, and working with the tide movements.

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