Large mouth Nannygai

Ryan’s BEST offshore fishing lures

People often ask me what are the best offshore fishing lures to catch trophy fish while travelling or going on a fishing charter.

As a charter guide for three decades, I have trialled innumerable lures with mixed success. Many are duds while a rare few are absolute crackers!

So after a dig through my tackle box, I’ve grabbed my favourites.

There are 8 main categories of offshore fishing lures I use to maximise my chances to catch trophy fish.

We also have a previous blog for inshore fishing lures.

Watch the video for my favourites in each category.




There are eight main categories for offshore fishing lures we use here in the tropics.

1. Deep Hard Bodies

Deep hard bodies like the Rapala X-Rap Magnum are ideal for trolling for marlin baits like Scaly Mackerel and Spanish Mackerel around bommies, drop offs and ledges. Doing so I've also regularly caught coral trout as by-catch.


Rapala X-Rap Magnum is great for trolling around ledges and drop offs.

2. Shallow Hard Bodies

I only have a few lures in my RMF Shop and this is one of them! It is a versatile lure mostly used for catching barra in creeks. However recently I have used it as an offshore fishing lure, casting for reef fish on the flats.

Single hooks on offshore fishing lures

Swapping out the trebles for single 3/0 hooks on our RMF Scaleblazer (BUY HERE)  makes it an effective offshore fishing lure. Cast over reef flats for best results.

3. Sinking Sink Baits

One of the most versatile lures I have ever used is our RMF Pillager. Used like a vibe they have a unique flutter that fish find irresistible. We used them extensively on our Princess Charlotte Bay trip.   While they look small they can be used to catch all manner of species from Nanny-gai and Coral Trout. If you can get them past the pelagics like Queenies, GT's and Mackerel on the way down. At 25 grams if there is a bit of current, just throw up-current a bit.

Pillager offshore fishing lure with big Large-Mouth Nannygai

I've lost count of the Large-Mouth Nannygai we've caught on our RMF Pillager's now.

Pillager offshore fishing lure.

If you can get them past the pelagics!

Nomad Mad Scad sinking stick baits

The Nomad Mad Scad is a larger alternative. Ideal for dropping down the edge of bommies chasing GTs and coral trout using an erratic retrieve.

4. Floating Stick Baits

My favourite forms of fishing... Top water. Because watching them crash on the surface is an adrenaline hit! A good example is the Edge Topwater Stickbait below. We picked this one up from BCF for a trial and it worked pretty well. I like natural colours in these type of lures because it imitates injured bait fish.

Edge Topwater Stickbaits

Topwater stickbaits are best used casting over reef flats. I'd recommend 100 to 120 lb leader to help avoid getting cut off on the coral. Attach with a perfection loop.

5. Poppers and Surface Lures

Use these offshore fishing lures on the run out tide when the reef drains on larger tides closer to the moon. I like to change trebles to single hooks as they are often easier to get out of the fish and don't inhibit the action as much.

Old Dog Pug Popper

Old Dog lures Pug Poppers. I go way back with Master lure designer Dave Killalea - of Killalure and Old Dog Lures. Any Old Dog handmade lure not only catches but is a work of art!

6. Soft Plastics

Berkley Powerbait

I've been using the Berkley Powerbait Swim Shad for years fishing Wonky Holes. They are dynamite. They are well weighted therefore they get to the bottom quickly. Retrieve slow and steady or jig up and down slowly and let fall because many strikes will come on the fall.

Keitech Swing Impact fat

My go to paddletail inshore can also be used offshore. Due to the current and depth however, it pays to upgrade and use 1-2 ounce jig heads. Keitech Swing Impact fat. 

7. Metal Slices

Easily home made and there are plenty on the market, metal slices are designed to mimic a fleeing baitfish.

Ideal for throwing into bait schools where tuna and other pelagics are boiling.

It pays to "match the hatch" because fish will chase things the same size. Therefore be sure and keep a variety of sizes on hand and match them to the baitfish being chased.

8. Slow Pitch Jigs

This type of offshore fishing lures is great alternative to bait fishing for demersal species. Fish typically hit on the drop which makes it super exciting and of course, cleaner than bait with no stinky boat to clean.

Our Levitator jigs have a scallop on one side and a weighted end therefore they dart and flutter like a squid or injured baitfish. Use in 15-30 metres of water for best results.

We have been smashing all manner of species on these jigs and they are certainly a great addition to any tackle box. Especially if chasing reds, snapper and coral trout.

Levitator offshore fishing lure

Red fish can't seem to resist our Levitator Jigs. Buy them here.

Fishing on the fish

The key to catching good fish is not just choosing the right offshore fishing lure. It's about fishing on the fish.

Our online fishing courses have been tried and proven now with students in over 60 countries.

Fishing on the fish

Using your fish finder

Click here for our Fish Smarter courses.
Click here for our Gear and Tackle Cheat Sheet





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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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