Chris “Fezmond” Henry
Sponsored Angler & Social Media Personality
Chris is an accomplished sponsored angler who fishes the area from Brisbane to Mackay heavily and frequently posts his fishing exploits on social media. Although well known for his GT fishing, Chris has done plenty of coral trout fishing and shares his tips in this interview.
Chris’ Top Tips For Coral Trout Fishing
- Don’t overlook the shallow water. You’ll find it’s common to catch coral trout in very shallow water, provided there are some breaks between the reef with water of a metre or so deep. This is Chris’ favourite place to fish for trout, as they’ll often aggressively smash surface lures.
- A rookie mistake when it comes to coral trout fishing is not to go hard enough on the fish in the first few seconds, especially in shallow water. The battle with this species is usually won or lost in the first five metres. If you can keep their head pointed towards you long enough to get them clear of the reef you are in with a good chance. Don’t give an inch in the first few seconds of the fight.
- Coral trout are suckers for a well presented stickbait. Get it close enough to where they are hiding and they’ll almost always smash it.
- Look for trout in water depths from a metre down to 80 or more metres. They usually inhabit places with caves and ledges that they hide under (and head straight back to after being hooked). Isolated rocks, coral heads and bommies in areas where there is a reasonable current are favourite haunts, especially if there is a reasonable amount of bait nearby.
- Chris often finds that the neap tides either side of full and new moons usually fish well for coral trout. He also likes the making tides leading up to the new and full moons, and finds that it’s possible to target both trout (and other “reefies”) and pelagic species on these tides.
- Movement in the barometer, either rising or falling, usually results in better fishing. Light and variable wind usually fishes better than periods when there has been a constant and stable wind for a few days.
Chris’ Tackle Recommendations For Coral Trout
- For casting poppers and stickbaits fishing for coral trout Chris likes a PE3 spin rod for casting but reckons you’ll get owned by trout over 6kg. Going heavier will result in less lost fish but makes for harder work.
- For jigging he will use PE3 to PE5 outfit. It’s horses for course depending on the size of the fish and the nature of the structure, but PE4 braid will be adequate under most circumstances. Chris’ preference is an Ocea jigger rod with an Ocea Jigger 1500 size reel. A 60lb fluorocarbon leader of
Chris’ Best Coral Trout Lures
- 100-130 mm poppers are ideal in the shallow water. Brand is not important as long as they are well made and strong, have a good action and create plenty of disturbance. Start with short bloops and then experiment with different retrieve styles to figure out what works on the day.
- Ocea Pencil slow sinking stickbaits in 40g or 60g sizes are a great option when fishing water from 1-8m deep. The deeper the water, the more time you need to give the lure to sink and the slower you will want to work it. A good strategy is to start by not letting the lure sink too deep on the first cast or two as actively feeding trout will come out after them. If the first few casts don;t get a strike, let the subsequent casts sink deeper and get closer to the reef until you reach a point where you feel that you won;t be able to extract a trout from his lair. Then move to the next rock or bommie and start the process again.
- A slow pitch jig like the 60g Wonderfall is a good choice in depths from 15m and more. Drop the lure down close to the structure and work it with small lifts of the rod with a 1/2 or 1/4 turn of the reel handle and dropping the lure back. Once you’re half way back up to the boat, drop the lure back down and start over.