How to Catch Coral Trout

Coral Trout - Mackerel Islands

Other names

Plectropomus leopardus, leopard trout, leopard cod, leopard coral trout and blue-spot trout.

Description

Coral trout are often confused with other related species such as the polkadot trout, the bar-cheeked coral trout and the vermicular trout. The distinguishing feature of the coral trout is red, not pink and has numerous rounded (rather than elongated or with dark edges) blue spots along the head and body. The coral trout has a rounded head with a large mouth and sharp, widely spaced teeth. The coral trout has a soft, rounded dorsal find and square tail that have possess a blue edge. Coral trout can reach 12kg, but are more commonly caught at around 2-5kg.

WA Distribution

Found from the northern border of Western Australia to Dongara in the south. Coral trout are typically found inhabiting reefs in waters less than 20m, although they can inhabit waters up to 100m deep.

Rigs and Techniques

Trolling is the most common technique for fishing for coral trout and because of the potential for break-offs on reefs heavy gear is recommended. A short trolling rod with an overhead reel, 15+kg braid line with a 24kg leader is recommended when catching coral trout. Diving minnow lures and poppers can be effective at a slow-ish troll speed of about 5 knots. For a different approach, try jigging leadheads, casting minnow lures to bombies or using a deep water rig of sinker and one to two hooks with live bait or fresh whole fish, squid or pilchards.