Red Sea Fishing Tours

Coral Trout

Also known as Leopard Trout

Plectropomus leopardus oft the Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes (Perch-likes) > Serranidae (Sea basses: groupers and fairy basslets) > Epinephelinae has a robust elongated bodywith a flat interorbital area. The Leopard/Coral trout gets its name from the spots that cover its body. It is usually red with small blue or white spots, but it can change its color to match its surroundings, so that it can hunt its prey without being seen from black to striped a muddy brown/green to white, depending on its background. While usually red with small white spots or bright orange with vivid blue spots they can vary in colour so much that they are often confused with other related species. Two species of plectropomid grouper (Plectropomus areolatus and P. pessuliferus) are found in the Red Sea. Coral Trout are widely distributed throughout the Indo-Pacific from the Red Sea to southern Japan, down to the Solomon Islands and Tahiti. Its natural habitat includes open seas and coral reefs where they can be found in coral-rich areas of lagoon reefs and mid-shelf reefs where they show a distinct preference for reef slope locations. Coral Trout move around considerably within a single reef, though often no further than 500 meters

They are an inquisitive fish that will come out of their hideaway to investigate stray food sources lurking around their territory and they hunt in two different ways: by ambush and by prowling. They use the ambush method to hunt fish that live among the coral on the reef bottom. The trout will hide and remain very still and alert, ready to attack passing prey. The prowling method is used to ht scunhooling fish higher up in the water. Here, the trout will move (prowl) slowly towards the prey and attack at great speed. They will come from a distance if a disturbance takes place to inspect what’s going on and are known for their arrogance of staring down snorkelers with an almost ‘What are looking at, punk?’ glare. It is this ‘bullet proof’ style of behaviour that makes them easy targets for spearfishers; likewise line anglers also benefit from this behaviour. Coral Trout collaborates with Moray Eels to hunt food. An open question is whether groupers and coral trout are exceptionally smart, or possess abilities shared by many as-yet-unstudied fish species. Groupers and coral trout appear to be especially curious, a trait generally considered a sign of smarts, possibly a precondition to this extraordinary inter-species predatory adaptation.

When it comes to targeting trout in the slightly deeper water, extremely deep diving Rapalla lures work well. These lures get right down amongst the coral in ten to fifteen metres of water and a hunting trout swimming in the area will usually investigate. A slow troll in this situation is recommended, around 4-5knots. Do not use wire traces when targeting trout on lures as it is too visible in these clear waters; fluorocarbon monofilament will produce better results.  However, one of the most exciting ways to hook onto these fish is casting or trolling surface lures or poppers along the reef drop off and waiting for them to pounce. As the tide falls and the smaller fish move to the sanctuary of the deeper water, the trout, with a tremendous burst of speed, launch themselves from their hiding places and engulf their prey with large and well teethed mouths. We have found the specimens rising to poppers on the surface regularly, almost out of curiosity, as they patrol in shallow water.

Leopard Trout Times

Current and tide can play a big part in fishing for Coral Trout. Times of low light, dusk and dawn, are always great times to target them as they are not nocturnal feeders and remain inactive at night, hiding. under ledges There are plenty of anglers who have fished all night for nocturnal feeders and then the moment the sun pops up over the horizon a steady string of Trout suddenly materialises out of nowhere. One fact to consider when targeting them is that each fish might only feed once every 1-3 days and only during daylight hours. Dusk and dawn have been shown to be clearly their preferred times to hunt, often sitting extremely still as to remain unnoticed before launching into a fast attack burstuse fresh fish and squid baits hooked on a standard dropper rig of heavy 60lb + handline. All coral trout are born females, but later in life some will change to become males. They spawn, or mate, in large groups, usually under the glow of a new moon.


Coral Trout Rigs and Techniques

Coral Trout can reach 12kg, but are more commonly caught at around 2-5kg. Outside of the Red Sea they can grow uo to more than 100 cm and 20 kgTrout are usually caught while "bottom bouncing". Let your line out, making sure it goes straight down just to touch the reef bottom, then raise the rig about two feet from the structure to reduce snagging. The key to this method is to drop your line vertically and keep it tight. Let the sinker down to allow the fish to have its initial taste then strike hard to set the 6/0 hook into their hard bony mouth. Fish your baits right on the bottom. Keep your line tight, but leave the weight on your line on the bottom — regardless of whether you’re fishing live or dead bait like a bonita strip. Grouper live on the bottom and are holding up in either rocks or wrecks. By keeping your bait on the bottom, you’ll have it right in front of the grouper’s face where the fish can eat it. Don’t jerk or lift the rod when the trout takes the bait. Reel as fast as you can to set the hook, and take up the slack. As soon as the grouper is hooked-up and the rod is bowed, then use the rod to lift the fish out of the hole or up off the bottom. Next reel down really fast, and lift it up again with the rod.  Be sure not to lift the grouper with the rod once you get the fish 20 feet or so up off the bottom. Switch from lifting and winding to steadily reeling. Since a big grouper will make several more runs to try and get back into the bottom, you may tear the fish free from the hook if you try and lift the rod tip. Don’t reel when the grouper is pulling off drag. Let the reel and the bowed rod fight the grouper.  One thing coral trout have in common with all reef fish is their power over short runs and the unerring ability to bury the unwary and sometimes experienced anglers into the razor sharp edges of underwater coral reefs. Work right in close to the ledge with any 2-3 metre diving minnow and that will get their attention, but you need to be quick on the draw or they’ll bury you in the coral quick smart. For this reason it’s best to hold onto the rod rather than set it in your rod holder because the fight is generally won or lost in the first 5 seconds. Smaller fish are quite easily subdued but larger ones can easily tear 30 pound braid into the coral. Gaff a grouper in the mouth. Not only is this the safest place to gaff the grouper so you don’t lose the fish, but you also won’t damage nearly as much meat. Make sure you leave the fish laying in the water. Don’t attempt to pick the grouper’s head up with the rod. Let the mate gaff the fish and bring it onboard.


Pomacentridae, Labridae, Caesionidae and Scaridae make up the majority of the Coral Trouts diet

Juvenile P. leopardus consumed a higher proportion of benthic crustaceans, mostly penaeid prawns. After their first year of life, P. leopardus are almost entirely piscivorous. They have quite large dog like teeth and are aggressive feeders on Damselfish, Wrasse, Fusiliers and Parrotfish. The dominance of fish in the diet does not vary temporally or spatially. intermittent feeders, consuming an average of one prey item daily. Recommended Bait/Lures:  Shrimp, Squid, fish or cut bait;  jigs+

Feeding primarily during the early morning and midafternoon hours, the coral hind preys mostly on small fishes. The majority of its prey (80%) is Pseudanthias squamipinnis, however it also feeds on Anthias spp.,Apogon spp., and Canthigaster margaritata. In addition, it feeds on crustaceans. It is an ambush predator, spending much of its time on the bottom, hiding and waiting for easy prey


King Mackerel

Coral hinds form interspecific haremic groups consisting of one dominant male and two to twelve females. Each group occupies territories of 475-2,000 square meters which is further divided into secondary territories with each inhabited by an individual female coral hind. Behavior includes patrolling by males, visiting females, and antiparallel swimming of the sexes. 



Coral Groupers IUCN Red List of Threatened Species status is: least concern (LC). Most Coral Trout mature as females when they are about 22cm long and about 2 years old.   At this time a mature female Coral Trout can product 83,000 eggs a year.  A 4 year old female can produce about 458,000 eggs a year.


Yellowfin Tuna

are highly migratory and seasonal to the Red Sea.

Blue fin tuna, Yellow fin tuna, Black fin tuna, Dogtooth tuna, White tuna, and Skipjack tuna. 

these tuna often feed near the surface so topwater techniques can be used. For trolling, you can try tuna feathers, cedar plugs, and plastic skirted trolling lures.  Rapalla type plugs also work. For trolling, you can try tuna feathers, cedar plugs, and plastic skirted trolling lures.  Rapalla type plugs also work.


Jack or the Giant Trevally

Giant Trevally love large poppers such as those made by Heru, Halco, and many other manufacturers.  You cast them as far as you can, and then retrieve them with long sweeps of the rod so that the poppers kick up a lot of water.  You should vary your retrieve speed to figure out what they like.  Give it a pause to give the fish a chance to strike; you don't want to pull it away from them.  The strike is often dramatic as they launch out of the water in a shower of spray trying to annihilate your popper.  As with all topwater lure fishing, you have to wait until you feel weight on the end of your line before setting the hook as the fish often miss the lure on the first try.

Giant Trevally: also known as the GT is a species of large marine fish classified in the jack family. The giant trevally is distinguished by its steep head profile, strong tail scutes. It is normally a silvery color with occasional dark spots; however males may be black once they mature. Giant Trevally can grow to a maximum known size of 170 cm and a weight of 80 kg. The current IGFA World Record stands at an outrageous 145lb


Dog Tooth Tuna

Dogtooth Tuna are generally caught either trolling or jigging.  For trolling for large ones a 50 W type trolling outfit with 100lb braided line should be sufficient.

Dogtooth Tuna can because caught trolling Rapalla type lures.

 reef drop-offs and ofshore structures

It does have many similarities to the tunas though in some respects it differs considerably. Teeth for example. The reason the dogtooth tuna is called as such are its relatively large widely spaced Conical teeth.



Sailfish: reaching 1.2–1.5 meters (3 ft 10 in–4 ft 10 in) in length in a single year, and feed on the surface or at mid-depths on smaller fish and squid. Individuals have been clocked at speeds of up to 110 kilometers per hour (68 mph), which is the highest speed reliably reported in a fish. Generally, sailfish do not grow to more than 3 meters (9.8 ft) in length

Sustainable Fishing

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