Nigel Webster Fishing Bio

Nigel Webster

Fishing Journalist & TV Presenter

Nigel is a well-known Australian fishing personality, having written numerous magazine articles, authored the “Southeast Queensland Fishing Atlas” and been a long-time fishing presenter of the AFN Fishing show on 7 Mate. Nigel is a Sunshine Coast resident and regularly targets coral trout in his own back yard.

Nigel’s Coral Trout Fishing Tips

  • Coral trout fishing has become more consistent at the northern end of the Sunshine Coast in recent years, although the species is unpredictable in terms of the best time of year. Quality trout can be found on many reef systems in the area, with numbers increasing further north towards the town of 1770.
  • The best fishing times are the lead-up to the new and full moons, especially around four days prior to the moon. A southerly wind on the last hour and a half of the runout tide is the perfect bite window.
  • Coral trout fishing is definitely a daytime pursuit, Nigel reckons it’s a rare thing to pick up a trout after dark.
  • It’s important to fish a heavy drag and not give the fish an inch. The fight with coral trout is usually won or lost in the first few seconds and will end badly if they get back into the bommie they are living in. Don’t be afraid to lock the drag and put plenty of bend in the rod, just don’t high stick it.
  • Look for that really “gnarly” country with plenty of bommies jutting up 2-5 or 6m off the bottom. Plenty of water movement and plenty of bait completes the important factors that make for good coral trout fishing.
  • Fish seem to bite best at a particular depth, so look on the sounder for the depth where there is bait with plenty or decent sized arches. Once you figure out the depth they’re working at, you’ll often find that fish are active on other bommies around the same depth.
  • An important key to coral trout fishing is to fish as though every cast is going to get slammed. This ensures that you react quickly when a fish grabs the lure and can be the difference between extracting the fish or losing it to the bommie.

Nigels Coral Trout Fishing Tackle

  • Coral trout pull very hard, so your tackle has to be up to it. A 6’10” to 7′ spin rod in the 6-10kg line class with a 5000-7000 size reel, 50lb braid and minimum 50lb fluorocarbon leader. Nigel reckons some of his mates also use 8-15kg gear and it’s not too heavy for coral trout.

Nigel’s Coral Trout Fishing Lures

  • The humble Halco Twisty is a great lure for jigging coral trout. Halco produce their standard treble hook rigged lure as well as a lure rigged with assist hooks specifically for jigging. Either style is fine for coral trout, but if there are toothy species midwater Nigel prefers the treble hook rigged lure because it’s less likely to get bitten off. The best way to fish this lure is to cast it as far ahead of the drifting boat as you can and then let it sink to the bottom while mending the line so as to stay in touch with the lure. Once on bottom, wind the lure for 3 or four fast turns of the reel handle, then pause and let it sink to the bottom again. Nigel finds that using the reel instead of the rod tends to keep the line tight so you’ll miss less bites – which nearly always come just as you stop winding to let the lure sink.
  • 1oz TT HD Blades are another awesome lure for targeting coral trout, green and gold colour is best. Remove the front hook to improve snag resistance and then fish them the same way as the Halco Twisty
  • Soft vibration baits are deadly on coral trout. Nigel likes the Zerek Fishtrap, but there are plenty of other options too. The preferred way to use these lures is to spotlock the boat downcurrent of a bommie and then cast well upstream, allowing the lure to sink to the bottom. Work the lure with a series of small hops, in a reasonable current you’d probably only get 3-4 hops before the lure is past the bommie, but fish will usually take them before that anyway.
  • A 4″ soft plastic prawn is great when the fish are a little shy and with the hook facing upwards they can also be fished behind a drifting boat without snagging up too often. The best way to fish these lures is to let them hit bottom, then gently lift then 2-3m off the bottom and letting them sink again.

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Nigel’s Fishing Shows

The AFN Fishing Show  Nigel has been a fishing TV Presenter, Producer and Writer for the AFN Fishing Show for many years. You can watch the show on Sunday afternoons on 7Mate, or any time on the AFN website or YouTube channel.

Nigel’s Sponsors

Wilson Fishing produce a range of tough tackle and quality lures that Nigel loves to use, including the Zerek Fishtraps and Zerek Cherabins mentioned in this episode..

Tackle Tactics distribute TT Lures and the Okuma range of tackle used by Nigel for coral trout fishing and plenty of other species.

Mercury Marine power Nigels boats with both outboard motors and Motorguide Trolling Motors

Lowrance produce the line of sounders used by Nigel to find the coral trout

Alvey Reels provide Nigel with some awesome gear that he loves to use in his adventures around the country

 

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