Tropical reef rewards

Tropical reef rewards

Catching a feed of tasty fish from a tropical reef is on a lot of peoples’ bucket list, but for some, they are lucky enough to consider just a weekend activity! Getting yourself set to gather an esky full of demersals can cost a bit, but the effort is more than worth it when you’re eating some of the tastiest fish in the world.

Species such as coral trout, largemouth nannygai and red emperor, as well as a host of others, are prized catches in these areas, and can often have anglers driving for many nautical miles out to sea in search of their own little patch. There’s a few different ways to go about fishing the reefs, but in this post we are going to focus on bait fishing.

Well-known marks can be found online, with some anglers willing to share their marks. The best fishing, however, will come from doing your own research and finding small rises and humps on the bottom, which could be reef, rubble or a wreck. Of course, having a decent sounder and a seaworthy boat is pretty much essential if wanting to fish the reefs.

Using live and dead baits over the reef is by far the most effective way to catch reefies, and baits will generally attract a wider range of species than jigs and soft plastics do.

Shimano Terez Rods in either spin or overhead make great rods for bait fishing over the reefs, and there is a range of weights to suit different areas with different classes of fish. Slightly heavier gear may be useful if your chosen area has a lot of shark activity.

By far the most popular rig is the paternoster rigs, and large bait or ‘J’ style hooks are preferred. Anything from 5/0-8/0 is suitable for larger reefies, with Gamakatsu’s Live Bait Hooks, Big Bait Hooks and Octopus Hooks, as well as the Mustad Hoodlum Live Bait Hooks and VMC Heavy Duty Live Bait Hooks 9260 suitable.

Fishing with dead baits of squid, pilchard and various strip baits is a proven technique over the reefs, while livies such as scad or yakkas work when the dead baits aren’t getting interest from anything other than pickers.

Gathering a feed of reefies from a reef in the tropics is a lot of fun, because often you won’t know what’s coming over the side when you hook up! It’s a lucky dip a lot of the time, but the majority of those fish will make a welcome addition to the table!


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Tips & Tricks

Soaking shrimps in dams
Soaking shrimps in dams

In a previous post we looked at collecting shrimps in freshwater using bait traps, now we’re going to look at converting them into fish! Freshwater shrimps are one of, if not the best bait in freshwater, especially in the stocked impoundments, and are a great for getting kids into freshwater fishing, or if you just want to relax out on the water!
Retro-fitting hooks
Retro-fitting hooks

Lures usually come with hooks that are suited to their intended target species, however, given that anglers like to think outside of the box, lures will often be used on species outside the ones recommended.
Mono vs braid
Mono vs braid

Since the advent of braid about 25 years ago, the great debate about whether braid or monofilament is better has raged on. Hard-headed traditionalists often bemoan braids for its tendency to tangle, while many new age braid users think of monofilament as a thing of the past

want 15% off EVERY order?

Liquid error: Could not find asset snippets/upsell-now.liquid