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Hook a Coral Trout with Action Charters

Coral Trout is a species which consistently finds its way on the top of target lists when fishing in tropical, and sub tropical, waters. With their magnificent looking and brightly coloured exterior, often displaying bright oranges, blues, yellows and crimsons coupled with their moist, soft, light and flaky flesh highly prized for its eating qualities the coral trout is one of the most popular target reef fish species found in Australian tropical waters. Off the coast of Mackay the fish can be found in abundance and is a regular attraction for guests of Action Charters.

The coral trout derives its name from its appearance, looking similar to fresh water trout. The similarity ends there though. They have large rather intimidating dog like teeth and are aggressive feeders and fighters, often shooting back into the coral the moment a bait is taken causing a large number of what would have been prized catches to cut the line on the reef and get away.

Coral trout are usually caught while "bottom bouncing" the coral bommies but will also take lures trolled around and over the reef structures. The preferred method to catch these magnificent eating fish is to use fresh pilchards and squid baits hooked on a standard dropper rig of heavy 60lb or greater line. Let the sinker down to just touch the reef bottom then raise the rig about two feet from the structure to reduce snagging. Allow the fish to have its initial taste then strike hard to set the 6/0 hook into their hard bony mouth. Coral Trout can be found in as little as 5m of water right down to 35m+. Colouration can range from dark brown to a deep red depending on what depth of water they come from. Dark brown fish are mostly from shallow waters between 5-15m while the bright orange and red coloured fish tend to come from deeper water.

Regardless of colour, the best thing about them is they are not that hard to catch as long as you get the fundamentals right. They fight hard and aggressive enough to make it a thrill for all fishermen but not so hard that it feels tiring and laborious for the not so experienced.

Around Mackay, in the waters where Action Charters operates Coral Trout can be caught all year round however best targeted during the cooler months from April to October. Once caught, if larger than the minimum 38cm size limit and If intended for the dinner table, trout like all prime eating reef fish, should be immediately bled to ensure optimum quality. With years of experience in handling this great fish, our professional skippers and deck hands will prepare the fish ready for you to take home and enjoy.

So if the thought of hooking the prized Coral Trout sounds good to you then give Action Charters a call and we will make the experience enjoyable and teach you all there is to catching these magnificent fish along with the many others on offer in our Great Barrier Reef waters.


Are you ready to fight the GT?

Giant Trevally (Caranx Ignobilis) or "GT's" as they are universally known are one of the toughest fish to land on the boat, with a power to weight ratio unmatched by other fish in the sea. The giant trevally is a powerful predatory fish, and is an apex predator in most environments it occupies; from the estuaries it inhabits as a juvenile to the outer reefs and atolls it patrols as an adult.

GT’s are massive fish who put up a massive fight and really give truth to the term “sports fishing”. When a GT in excess of 30kg takes your popper or stick bait, hold on tight and prepare for a sometimes long battle which will not only put both your fishing prowess and skills to the test but also your hardware and tackle from rod and reel all the way down to your hooks and knots. Its not uncommon for one of these battles to end because of a forged 13/0 hook being straightened or your lure simply exploding under the stress the fish will put it under. It is little wonder that GT's have fast become ultimate fish to catch for serious fishermen all over the world.

Most commonly found throughout the Indo-Pacific Oceans around Japan, New Caledonia, Oman, Maldives, Hawaii and Vanuatu, the greatest numbers however are found on the bommies and reef structures of Australia's Great Barrier Reef. While the occasional GT can be found in the inshore waters around Mackay where Action Charters operates its single day charters, for an almost guaranteed chance of seeing, if not catching one of these hard fighting monsters, the outer reefs such as Little Bugatti reef can be reached on our 3 day charters.

So if the idea of fighting one of these truly magnificent creatures of the sea who will definitely give you a real fight no matter what size they may be, then give Action Charters a call and tell them you want to step up to the plate and fight a monster GT.


Think you’re a hard core fisherman? Then get in the ring with one of these!

Gymnosarda Unicolor, commonly known as the Dogtooth tuna or White tuna, is widespread throughout the tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific area from the eastern coast of Africa, to oceanic islands of the Pacific Ocean.

Dogtooth tuna frequent reef environments, with smaller fish being more commonly found near shallow reef areas and larger ones haunting deep reef drop off areas, seamounts and steep underwater walls. The dogtooth tuna is one of the apex non-pelagic predators in its environment. An aggressive predator, the dogtooth tuna is an opportunistic feeder that is capable of taking a wide variety of prey items, including your tackle, line and even rod and reel if your not suitably prepared and equipped to wrestle with one of these monsters. They fight hard and dirty and will make your tackle look like toys. Often if you are lucky enough to get your tackle back, its destroyed and size 15 forged hooks no longer have a curve in them.

Most commonly caught by trolling lures, in the last several years however targeting dog tooth tuna using high speed jigging methods with a variety of metal lures has increased tremendously in popularity as advancements in tackle technology reaches the market. Which ever way you fish, their habit of making high-speed downward runs when hooked, even on heavy tackle, often sees the line being cut as it contacts deep bottom structure or your gear failing under the extreme pressures they exert against you.

During Actions Charters last trip with anglers who even we consider hard core it was mentioned on a few occasions that perhaps the 100lb tackle is simply not enough and we need to step it up to 130lb. That’s some serious tackle but then again…………… That’s how hard these fish fight!