TROUT, BARCHEEK CORAL

TROUT, BARCHEEK CORAL

Plectropomus maculatus


REGION
Northern WA, Northern QLD, NT
CATCH EASE
Medium
HABITAT
Ocean, Offshore, Reef, Structure

Barcheek Coral Trout are another variety of fish extremely popular with anglers around the world and Australian fishos. All Barcheek 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.

Barcheek Coral Trout are found in Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, the Arafura Sea, Solomon Islands, and Australia.

Barcheek Coral Trout can reach a size of 70cm and 6kg.

HOW TO IDENTIFY TROUT, BARCHEEK CORAL

Barcheek Coral Trout are red, pale grey or olive to dark brown colour with a head, body and fins with numerous small blue spots. Barcheek Coral Trout are often as brightly coloured as the Coral Trout they are also often mistaken for. The distinguishing feature of the Barcheek Coral Trout is the elongated blue spots on the head compared with Coral Trout where these spots are round.

Barcheek Coral Trout also have a powerful tail and a large mouth with widely spaced, sharp canine teeth.

WHERE TO CATCH TROUT, BARCHEEK CORAL

While Barcheek Coral Trout are thought of as a standard reef feeder, they can also be found on the edge of reef dropoffs. Barcheek Coral Trout wait on the edge of deepwater dropoffs for when smaller fish move to the sanctuary of the deeper water as the tide moves out.

Barcheek Coral Trout are commonly found around the Abrolhos Islands of Western Australia around in tropical waters around the northern coast of Australia and tropical waters as far south as the southern region of the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland.

Although reported cases are rare, we must mention that large specimens have been associated with Ciguatera poisoning, a fatal form of food poisoning.

HOW TO CATCH TROUT, BARCHEEK CORAL

Large Barcheek Coral Trout are normally caught on oily baits, usually from oily fish, including Tuna, Mackerel and Pilchards in deeper water. Squid and crab also work. However, these fish can be taken on bait, lure and fly.

It is important to remember that fishing with baits when fishing for Barcheek Coral Trout can also attract sharks. So while Barcheek Coral Trout are usually caught over deeper reefs with bait, the alternative is to use jigs and false baits.

Casting and trolling surface lures and poppers are very effective for catching Barcheek Coral Trout along the reef dropoff. Another method involves jigging lures close to the reef floor. Barcheek Coral Trout find it very difficult to hold back from pouncing on a tantalising lure near their reef home.

Trolled minnow lures and cast poppers, slices or jigs put near coral outcrops or channels between reefs can provide exciting sport. Quality gear and tackle while paying close attention is recommended to avoid break-offs as this fish will head will head for cover if given a chance.

Using a trace will offer some protection during the battle.