Coral Flats Fishing Enthusiast
Tyson is a Cairns-based angler who targets all manner of tropical species in the creeks, lakes and estuaries of Queensland’s far north. However, his real passion is throwing topwater lures around the reef flats, bommies and coral edges for all manner of reef species.
Tyson’s Log-nosed Emperor Fishing Tips
- Specifically targeting long-nosed emperor (or any other species) on the reef flats is difficult because of all the other species that will take your lures. But a by-catch of GT’s, coral trout, red bass, wrasse and other reefies is pretty good!
- From time to time long-nosed emperor turn up in blue holes, along reef edges, on bommies and other coral reef environments, but if he was specifically targeting them, Tyson would position his boat in the shallow water behind the reef break and make casts into the break.
- Long-nosed emperor are aggressive hunters and often hunt in packs, appearing from nowhere and slamming a lure.
- The few days leading up to new moons often fish well on topwater and Tyson likes the last half of the runout tide (careful not to get beached as the water disappears). As the water recedes, concentrate efforts on the channels that drain the flats back into deeper water. These areas have enough run to hold fish and stimulate feeding.
- A little breeze and some chop is a good thing on the flats as the fish are less spooky and more aggressive.
- Tyson likes to “match the hatch” with his lures, often finding that red, white or silver lures mimic the colour of common reef bait species well.
- If the fishing is tough, try different lures, move around between reefs to find a reef where fish are active, or try deeper water, bommies or even other species.
Tyson’s Coral Flats Fishing Tackle
- The tackle that Tyson uses is overkill for long-nosed emperor, but it needs to be able to stand up to some tougher species that may be encountered, such as GT’s, dino trout, red bass and so on.
- Tyson uses a 5500 size Daiwa Saltiga Expedition spin reel (or equivalent 8-10000 size Shimano Reel) on a medium 7’ stickbait rod. The reel is spooled with PE6 braid and he uses a leader of 100-140lb fluorocarbon, depending on water clarity, fish size etc. The leader length is as long as can be comfortably cast (1.6-1.8m) without the FG knot passing through the guides.
Tyson’s Long-nosed Emperor Fishing Lures
- A 60g/155mm Cast Tackle “OG” sinking stickbait in red, white or silver colours is perfect when there’s some chop on the water as the action is unaffected by the surface chop. Cast long into the break and work back with long sweeps of the rod, winding back between sweeps to maintain contact with the lure. Don’t be afraid to mix up the retrieve, varying the length of the sweeps, speed of retrieve and so on. Tyson finds that best results come when the retrieves are varied. Rig these lures with 2/0 BKK Raptors or 2/0 Decoy trebles, or with a single hook on the rear.
- 60g/170mm Cast Tackle “OG” floating stickbaits are great when the water is relatively flat and can be worked in much the same way as the sinking stickbait, creating bubble trails each time the rod is swept back. These are best fitted with BKK raptor treble hooks front and rear. Rig these lures with 2/0 BKK Raptors or 2/0 Decoy trebles on the front and the equivalent 3/0 on the rear.
- A 60g Cast Tackle PTYD Popper in Flying fish colours is a bit too aggressive for the flats, but is perfect for throwing over deeper water, isolated bommies, blue holes and so on where the noise and action will attract fish to the surface from deeper water. This lure is worked in a series of 4-5 short pops interspersed with pauses, rather than long sweeps.