Catch and cook coral trout with Ryan Moody

Catch and cook – coral trout

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;

  1. We compare catching coral trout with strip bait (Ruffy) versus slow pitch jigging (Ryan)
  2. How to out prepare fish for filleting by keeping them on ice whole
  3. 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.


Slow pitch jigs for catching coral trout

Slow pitch jigs for catching coral trout

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.

Catching coral trout on a slow pitch jig

Catching coral trout on a slow pitch jig

Footballer coral trout colour pattern

Ruffy with a small footballer trout – the juvenile version of the blue spot coral trout.

Bar cheek coral trout

Bar cheek coral trout are great eating

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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.

Facebook comments


  • Ben Hartsfield

    Reply Reply February 26, 2022

    Great post. I’m using this recipe this weekend! Boom.

  • Alex Shawn

    Reply Reply September 26, 2021

    Ha Ha ha, Now i return on the track again. Really helpful article.

    • Ryan Moody

      Reply Reply September 26, 2021

      Cheers mate!

    • Sean Brown

      Reply Reply December 27, 2021

      Hey ryan

      Have you guys completed the reef fish online course yet ?

      • Ryan Moody

        Reply Reply December 30, 2021

        Hi Sean, we have 2 courses in the making hoping they will be released this year.
        Locating Livies and Hidden Hotspots

  • John S. Mastin

    Reply Reply January 10, 2021

    Ryan.. very interesting blog you wrote, I am using this tricks in next fishing trips

  • Hendry

    Reply Reply January 6, 2021

    Great! tips. Thanks for sharing this.

  • Hendry

    Reply Reply December 19, 2020

    Thank you for sharing these tricks, Ryan.
    I will definitely use these tricks for my next fishing trip.

  • George Gibson

    Reply Reply August 12, 2020

    This is really helpful “The secret to catching coral trout”
    Thanks for sharing this impressive piece of writing at this time.
    Go ahead…we are with you bro,…

    • Ryan Moody

      Reply Reply August 13, 2020

      Thanks so much George, really appreciate your kind words

  • Chad

    Reply Reply April 4, 2020

    You’re about the best fisherman I’ve ever seen, and a bloody good Poissonnier. Thank you, Chef!

  • Jackson

    Reply Reply October 8, 2019

    I’ve bene getting into fishing lately. Really fun! The video is informative. Thanks for sharing how to catch trout!

  • Carter

    Reply Reply May 12, 2019

    That is massive tips and very well writing, You give all the details info for better fishing, Nowadays fishing is one of the most favorite hobbies all over the world and its increase its popularity. Its a true that beginner suffer a lots to caught fish.

  • Mikey Cunningham

    Reply Reply November 3, 2017

    For most normal people like me a session of “40 or so coral trout” would be just bloody insane. It’s the kind of day fishing most people would only ever dream of. But I get the impression a day like this isn’t out of the ordinary for you mob. Just awesome!

    • Karen Rudkin-Moody

      Reply Reply November 5, 2017

      Thanks Mikey, you learn a few tricks after spending 30 years every day on the water. Thats why we are now sharing Ryan’s knowledge with our Fish Smarter online courses. We are prepping to build a reef routines course, ready mid-2018.

  • Carl Read

    Reply Reply November 2, 2017

    They were some great trout , ive never tried jigging for trout looks like fun. Thanks Ryan .

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