This ALLSTARS fishing column we talk about arguably the most sort after reef species to be found on the East coast of Queensland… the mighty Red Emperor. 

A red-hot bite on the Reds can see grown men sweat profusely, shake at the knees, and giggle like a young schoolgirl.  It is a well-known condition called Red Fever.  After all we are talking about the pinnacle of reef species due to their incredible fighting capabilities and their amazing eating quality.  

These fish have an unmistakable fighting pattern that sees them shaking their head profusely at the same time as they are pulling like a freight train.  The Red lets an experienced angler know right from hookup they’ve hooked a Red.  In addition, these fish don’t give up easily, because they will give it to the angler all the way to the surface.  This is probably part due to the fact they don’t suffer too badly from barro trauma.  If you watch a Red coming up, you see a trail of bubbles as they vent the built-up gas.  So, this means that catch and release is okay with this species. 

However, the one fish shark love to prey on is Red Emperor.  Many a tear has been shed over a shark’s favorite snack. On the ALLSTARS social media we recently posted a few photos of sharked Reds that entrants had sent in prior.  These posts caught the attention of our followers and it made a few of them cry in sympathy. 

A couple of lads quick enough to beat the sharks and get their catch onto an ALLSTARS brag mat have been Richie O’Brien and Corey Bruton.  Richie took out the 1st quarter with an 81cm (10.5kg) fish and Corey took out the second and third quarter with both fish 86cm (12.5kg) in length.  Both Richie and Corey fish off Gladstone.  The best part for us as an online fishing competition is the quality of the promotional #fishbragwin photos these guys submit.  They have taken the time to take the photos while the fish is still kicking, used quality cameras, got the sunlight, and got the fish angles perfect.  Photos last a lifetime and it’s great to have proof of your fishy tales, because in today’s world if you haven’t got a photo it didn’t happen.  And for some other people if it’s not on social media it doesn’t count.

Allow your bait to drift around the fish holding depth by having a decent leader length between your sinker and the bait and hopefully that elusive Red Emperor of a lifetime is there and ready to be attracted to your offering.  From here it’s all up to the angler and his or her ability to beat the sharks and deal with the dreaded Red Fever.

ALLSTARS has months of competition still to occur and stories to share.  I have decades of fishing tips and will interview many successful commercial and recreational anglers to share their suggestions too. 

As much as I like to write about fishing, I’d also like to hear from you.  So please email me at to share your fishing trips, fishing tips, fishing stories and photos.

A day on the water is better than a day at work.

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