Jako Lucas shares his passion for tropical flats fishes that are not frequently targeted by clients. He says: “I love the idea of promoting the trash fish of the flats. Every day I spend fishing the flats with clients I wish they’d be more open minded about the fishes they target. Whenever I get the opportunity to fish the flats I catch anything and everything on fly, including small and big fish species.”
Bluefin trevally (Caranx melampygus)
Bluefin trevally often patrol shallow water or the edges of atolls, such as this fish, making them ideal targets for the flats fisherman – photo by Leonard Flemming
Blue trevally (Carangoides ferdau)
Golden trevally (Gnathanodon speciosus)
Close-up of a golden trevally – photo by Christiaan Pretorius
Fighting a twin-spot snapper in shallow water
Twin-spot snapper (Lutjanus bohar)
Coral trout (Plectropomus leopardus)
Most flats fishes can change colour to match the background, such as this coral trout caught over white sand
Brown marbled grouper (Epinephelus fuscoguttatus)
Napoleon wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus)
Juvenile napoleon wrasse are colourful and can look very different if compared to the deep blue adults
Titan triggerfish (Balistoides viridescens)
Yellow margin triggerfish (Pseudobalistes flavimarginatus)
A client with a triggerfish combo
Swallowtail grouper (Variola louti)
Bluebarred parrotfish (Scarus ghobban)
Yellow-lip emperor (Lethrinus xanthochilus)
Two-striped sweetlips (Plectorhinchus albovittatus)
Well I’ll dig in the trash any day of the week. 😀
speaking as a carp fisherman, I vehemently maintain there is no such thing as a trash fish..
particularly like the variety of trevallys, and emperors.. handsome handsome fish..
Haha, yes, we understand that very well Doug (and everyone else that questioned the term ‘trash fish’ used in this post), but the guides in tropical saltwater destinations continuously complain about clients that get fixated on giant trevally, permit and bonefish on their trips. Those are the fishes that are used to promote these fishing destinations (and for a fair reason) and all the clients want one of each of those three fishes before they go home. When you hear the fisherman say “Oh no, that’s another big bluefin, I’ll wait till I see a GT” or “No, I’m not here to waste my time on a triggerfish, I want to catch a permit” then you’ll understand the meaning of ‘trash fish’ and the reason for this post;) The fishes that are overshadowed by GTs, bones and perms are often difficult to target and require as much skill (if not more in some instances) and fight as hard as the aforementioned lot.
Great photos. Could I reproduce one in a Guide Book I am researching? Clue is in the email address. Could you contact me?
Hi Martin, please send me your email address. Most of the photos above are from contributors and you’d need to get their approval on your request.