Coral trout

Catching reef fish with shallow diving barra lures

This year during the barramundi closure we decided to do an experiment – catching reef fish on barra lures.

It was after the moon when the deeper reef fish often go quiet, so we decided to give the shallow flats a go.

The weather was an absolute glass so sight fishing was the order of the day.

Fishing the spectacular great barrier reef

The Great Barrier Reef is spectacular!

sight casting for reef fish using barra lures

Sight casting for reef fish using barra lures

Using barra lures we caught a selection of reef species.

I took my mate Benny, a Cairns local, to have some fun.

And as the weather was so pristine, Karen came along for some snorkelling.

The reef is very close here off Cairns, and even closer at Cooktown.

“Where the rainforest meets the reef” is a catch cry for the area, therefore the scenery does not disappoint.

Flowery Cod, Footballer trout and Spangled Emperor were some of the casualties.

However, we should have also brought the fly rod as we saw good size Milkies and Permit on the surface.

Catching numerous small reef snapper species on shallow diving barra lures is a ton of fun.

Cast for cast is a great way to get kids interested in fishing as it is action-packed.

All you need are some shallow diving barra lures such as this minnow are dangerous.

Don’t worry which brand as they all work in that situation, however, we are testing some new designs for our upcoming shop so stay tuned.


Shallow diving barra lure

Shallow diving barra lures like this minnow type are perfect for sight casting reef fish in the shallows.

Gimp soft vibe barra lure and coral trout

For deeper water, this soft vibe barra lure is also effective on pan-size coral trout.


Coral trout

Coral trout are voracious predators on the reef flats

Two blokes in a boat

Two blokes in a boat. Fishing together in nature bringing home dinner. What could be a better way to spend the day


Gear Used


Rod: Quantum Smoke Inshore 621BC

Reel: Smoke SHD200 HPT

Lures: Various shallow diving hardbodies (barra lures).

Line: 30lb Rovex braid with 60lb Ande mono leader.


Rod: Custom 10kg spin stick (20 year old)

Reel: Cabo 80 Spin

Line: 30lb Rovex braid with 60lb mono leader.

Knots used.

Wind on leader system

Perfection loop to attach lures.

Catching reef fish on barra lures video of the day.



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About The Author

Ryan Moody

Ryan Moody started his fishing career on the reef boats before catching bucket list marlin for the likes of champion heavy tackle angler Johnno Johnson, INXS and the King of Sweden. Branching out in the late 80's to guided barramundi fishing, Ryan has made a name for himself as a Big Barramundi specialist and to date has put clients onto over 2000 metre plus barra. That is over 2 kilometres of metre plus barra! With attitudes changing from 'keep all you can' towards catch and release, Ryan has decided to share his extensive knowledge and hopefully inspire people of all ages to get out from behind the computer screen/TV and into the fishing outdoors lifestyle he has spent his life perfecting.

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1 Comment

  • Ken Stien

    Reply Reply January 21, 2021

    Love the creative use of the drone for you web site work! Spectacular results – keep it up! Cheers!

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