Commonly referred to as Lunar Trout!
Coronation trout are a vibrantly coloured fish that is well known for its fantastic eating qualities and incredible looks. They can be located throughout most northern angling destinations using a large variety of tackle and techniques and although are generally caught whilst targeting other species the coronation trout is still one of the most highly sought after species in the country!
Coronation trout can be found from as far south as the Abrolhos Islands up to as far north as cape Leveque here in Western Australian waters and are also prevalent from northern Queensland up into the Northern Territory.
Coronation trout grow to around 80cm in length and can weigh as much as 8kg although most fish typically encountered average around 2kg.
Coronation trout prefer areas of living, coral reef ranging in water depths of 1 – 100 meters. Large coral lumps and deep crevices or ledges are all typical coronation trout haunts.
The coronation trout is very similar in appearance to a coral trout although the colourations are much brighter and include pink spots that are not present on any species of coral trout. The tail is elongated at the tips with a bright yellow border. This is how the name of lunar trout derived.
Coronation trout are highly sought after for their fine eating qualities.
Coronation trout are dirty fighters that do not like to travel too far from their craggy homes especially when connected to an angler. Hold on tight!
Medium to heavy bottom fishing combos spooled with 30 – 50lb braided, nylon or gel spun lines are required for landing large coronation trout. Smaller specimens are easily managed on lighter spin and bait cast combos spooled with 20 – 30lb lines and are generally encountered whilst trolling deep diving lures around shallow reef structure. Coronation trout can also be targeted using surface and sub surface style lures, soft plastics and metal jigs on this lighter style of tackle with this more modern method beginning to account for many demersal species of late and is soon set to replace the art of bait fishing all together. Leaders are always necessary for abrasion when fishing with braided, gel spun and nylon lines around structure with one to two rod lengths of 60 – 100lb fluoro carbon proving ideal for most coral trout angling situations.
Whole, live and cut pieces of squid and fish make ideal baits for most northern demersal species including coronation trout with lures such as deep diving hard bodies, surface and sub surface stick baits, soft plastics and metal jigs also proving to be incredibly effective when targeting this eye dazzling species.
Targeting coronation trout with surface lures in shallow water is not only one of the most exciting and visual forms of fishing imaginable but also allows an angler to hook the fish as far away from its underwater domain as possible giving the angler at least half a chance of pulling a big fish from the heavy cover below. Fresh strips of tuna or grinner fish make an excellent bait source for most northern demersal species and are a lethal combination when fished on snelled hooks attached to Paternoster style rigs in deeper water. Brain spiking and placing all table fish into an iced slurry will improve the eating qualities of all fish when in warmer, northern environments.
Most northern fish species including coronation trout prefer to feed on a rising tide change or at low light periods such as dawn and dusk. Coronation trout will also feed in deeper water during slack water periods such as low tide.