I know we are a big proponent of catch and release, but like most anglers we also like to catch and cook! Especially Coral Trout.
In today’s video blog, I head to the reef with my old mate Ruffy and we pick up 40 or so coral trout.
Most were released as we were fishing shallow and most of the fish had minimal issues with barotrauma.
(For details on how to deal with barotrauma in fish, check out our on post on the topic here.)
Coral trout are a delicious eating fish especially the smaller ones, just over legal size.
Larger fish have been implicated in cases of ciguatera and you can find out how to avoid ciguatera poisoning here: Ciguatera in reef fish.
In this video we cover a few topics;
- We compare catching coral trout with strip bait (Ruffy) versus slow pitch jigging (Ryan)
- How to out prepare fish for filleting by keeping them on ice whole
- Plus a delicious recipe for crumbed coral trout with a lovely fresh garden pasta salad.
For those interested, here are the ingredients for the coral trout catch and cook recipe;
Standard packet bread crumbs and/or herb bread crumbs, Additional herbs (Garam masala and tumeric), beaten eggs and milk.
Butter and olive oil, lemons, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper – only cook for 2 mins or so per side or until crumbs are golden.
Standard Aussie salad packet mix from coles or woolies, olives, marinated asparagus, cherry tomatoes, marinated artichoke (use some of this juice as the salad dressing), red onion, cooked penne pasta drizzled with olive oil, fetta cheese, salt and pepper.
Gear for catching coral trout on the reef.
The coral trout were caught using a berley bomb attractant, assorted strip bait and squid, or slow pitch jigs like the ones shown below. Any will work I have no particular favourite.
The rod I used for slow pitch jigging was a Noeby NBSJ631M.
The reel I used was a Quantum Cabo 40 SPIN and these are a great little reel, I use them for most of my charters.
The secret to catching coral trout.
We are currently creating a comprehensive online fishing course on catching reef fish – tentatively named Reef Routines – which we hope to have out by mid-2018.
Until then my tips for catching coral trout are as follows;
- They love bommies with sand around them so I always look for an isolated bommie showing good markings of fish, bait around it and a clearing around it
- Jig around the edges of the bommie as they love getting out on the sand – also saves losing too many lures.
- I use 40-50 gram jigs in shallow water (<30m) and jigs as big as 100g in deeper water up to 50m.
If you’d like to check out our online fishing courses, head to our course delivery website Fish Smarter.
For sustainability, catch the fish you want to keep in the deeper water and if you want to keep fishing, move to the shallows where you can release any excess.
Here are just a few of the fish caught on this latest trip.
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