Red Sea Fish Species

Go in search of big fish on an exciting - hurghada and south marsa alam safari fishing boat

Fishing the right time .. Red Sea fishing seasons are less pronounced than many other destinations.

However, we do observe a clear peak in the abundance of Big Game species between December and March, as well as a small peak in July.

The winter peak seems to be triggered off by wintertime oceanic circulation in the northern Red Sea basin.

Due to predominant north-westerly winds, which are persistently strong in wintertime, large amounts of surface water are being driven to the south. Within the practically closed up basin, this water can only be substituted by water from great depth, which is rich in nutrients. Up-welling of fertile oceanic water from great depths results in higher biological productivity everywhere, but especially in an water body like the Red Sea which totally lacks any natural inlets which could add nutrients. Theoretical reasoning is backed up by remote sensing empirical findings:

Satellite imagery shows a significant rise in the occurrence of surface Chlorophyll Concentration (CHL-a) for the northern part of the Red Sea in winter, which triggers off a feeding wave all through the food chain up to the top carnivores, we are looking for.

The small peak in the abundance of Big Game Fish in summer is largely due to the occurrence of migratory tropical species, which head far north into one of worlds warmest oceans in summer.

Red Sea Fish Species

Coral Trout


Coral trout (Plectropomus leopardus)are an inquisitive fish that will come out of their hideaway to investigate stray food sources lurking around their territory. We have found the specimens rising to poppers on the surface regularly, almost out of curiosity, as they patrol in shallow water. When it comes to targeting trout in the slightly deeper water, extremely deep diving lures like the Halco 7metre+ work very 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. We also don’t use wire traces when targeting trout on lures as it is too visible in these clear waters; fluorocarbon mono-filament will produce better results. coral trout he coral trout (right) uses eels (left) to hunt food. 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 bonito 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 grouper 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 the grouper 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. 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 on-board. let your line out, making sure it goes straight down. The key to this method is to drop your line vertically and keep it tight.

King mackerel


King mackerel are found both near-shore and offshore, often around piers. They may occasionally be found in deep water.

King mackerel are voracious feeders that will hit a variety of baits. Spoons, jigs and trolling plugs are most likely to tempt juvenile "schoolie" kings in the 10- to 20-pound range, so for the big "smoker" kings you'll want to troll a spread of natural baits.

This strategy involves covering lots of water and showing the fish different looks.

A mix of flat lines, long baits and deep baits on down-riggers provides diversity and helps you dial in what the fish want on any given day. As migratory pelagics, king mackerel are constantly on the move on the hunt for bait and they will move up and down in the water column. Down-riggers offer an effective method to fish your baits at specific depths.

EYE IN THE SKY: When trolling broad areas, look for marine birds like this high-flying frigate. Birds will follow schools of kingfish for hours, just waiting for them to feed.

Once the slashing starts, frigates dip low to snatch the scraps left at the surface.

Spotting frigates circling an area should put a big red X on the spot. King mackerel are speedy critters and sometimes they take the corners too fast and overshoot their targets.

Here, and in any missed attack, quick thinking anglers can improve their chances of a follow-up strike by feeding line back to the point of the attack.

When a king boils or strikes at a bait but misses, the boat's forward motion pulls the bait away from the attacker. Peel off several yards of line and you might convince the fish into a second shot.

Great Barracuda


Great Barracuda live in tropical areas all around the world. When they are small they tend to live in shallow bays and other near-shore areas.

As they get larger they tend to move out to reefs and wrecks farther offshore. You can often see them as they sit near the top of the water like logs.

They are blindingly fast over short distances and cut their prey in half with their mouth full of jagged teeth. They grow to around 100lbs.

The biggest one I have personally seen caught was around 45lbs and my best one was a little below that. More

Yellowfin tuna


These tuna often feed near the surface so top-water techniques can be used. For trolling, you can try tuna feathers, cedar plugs, and plastic skirted trolling lures. Rapalla type plugs also wor

Giant Trevally


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 colour with occasional dark spots; however males may be black once they mature.

Giant 4revally 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 offshore 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 kilometres 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

Dorado or Dolphin Fish?


Dorado is a tropical fish of global distribution, which also migrates to the Red Sea in summer and it is one of the world’s most popular game-fish.

There is no mystery why that is.

They are spectacularly coloured, fight hard and jump when hooked, and taste delicious.

Therefore sport fishermen seek them. Thanks to their beauty, size, food quality, and healthy population.

Catches average 7 to 13 kilograms (15 to 29 lb). They seldom exceed 15 kilograms (33 lb), and Mahi-Mahi over 18 kilograms (40 lb) are exceptional. They are distinguished by dazzling colours:

golden on the sides, and bright blues and greens on the sides and back. Mature males have prominent foreheads protruding well above the body proper. Females have a rounded head.

Females are also usually smaller than males.

Medium weight conventional tackle set up should work fine.

A Shimano Trinidad 16N is a good reel for casting.

Unfortunately, Dorado are often hooked when trolling with heavy tackle meant for larger fish such as Marlin and so they are totally outmatched and really don't get a chance to show what they are made of.

A Dorado caught on lightweight tackle is one of the most exciting experiences in all of sports-fishing.

Their high metabolic rate has been attributed to physiological adaptations that conform to the lifestyle of a fast-moving pelagic predator.

If you hook a 15 Kg+ Dorado on a lighter salt-water bait-casting rod and reel you are in for quite a fight.

Look for floating objects, debris and frigate-birds near the edge of the reef in about 35 m) of water.

A net full of live sardines tossed into the water can excite the $orado into a feeding frenzy.

Successful fishing methods include trolling Dorado caught is kept in the water, it may hold the school, and often others will come near enough to be caught by casting.

(Arabic) Catches average 7 to 13 kilogram


the daytime we typically fish 1 rod, dropped down within 200’ of the bottom in 1500’ – 1800’ of water.

There are a number of different techniques and equipment options from conventional IGFA legal gear to more modern electric reels.

If you choose to hand crank it is a lot of work but well worth it in the end.

Most of the swordfish hooked in the daytime swim to the surface at first and the angler usually winds in slack line.

Most anglers think there’s no fish on because the fish is racing towards the surface and with 1500′ of line out you can’t feel them. If the fish is of any size they usually get close to the boat, and then go down to the bottom again.

Some fights last only 15 minutes while other battles have lasted 7 hours. Broadbill swordfish average 50 – 150 lbs in the daytime, although we catch a fair amount over 200 lbs every year.

The biggest one caught at the marina was a 468 pounds and was caught in 2015 by Capt.

Nick Stanczyk.

Occasionally the broadbill will jump and it’s a spectacular sight so bring your cameras.