Coral trout start their lives as females and change sex to become males later in life. It is not known what triggers this sex change. However it is believed to be something to do with length. On average, sex change occurs when fish are between 23cm and 62cm in length. (Small trout will usually be females and most large trout will be male).
Coral trout are fish eating predators. They eat during daylight hours and most often dusk or dawn. They will eat usually between every 1-3 days. Adult trouts usually feed on damsel fish and are known to eat smaller coral trout. Juvenile trout will eat crustaceans like prawns. Male coral trouts are known to change color around there fins when enticing female trouts to mate, they will also preform an elaborate courtship display. The colour change is instant and is amazing to watch while scuba diving. There are many different species of Coral Trout, they include
Coral trout are generally plentiful and found easily on the Great Barrier reef, unfortunately they are also a prized table fish, with several regulations in place the trout are what can be called a sustainable fish stock, however here at Sailing Whitsundays we only believe in taking photos not taking fish.
Common Coral trout
(also known as leopard trout and strawberry trout) like the name they are the most common trout found around the Whitsundays, they can grow to a maximum of 70cm. They can be seen in colors of orange, red , brown, pink and green. They have distinctive blue spots on head body and fins and a blue ring around the eyes.
Bar Cheeked Coral Trout
(also known as inshore trout and Island trout) The distinctive blue spots are more elongated on the body which look more like bars. This type of trout can grow up to 80cm Blue Spot Trout can be mistaken for the Common Coral Trout the difference being the Blue Spot has larger spots than the common. Another way to tell them apart is the Blue Spot trout does not have transparent pectoral fins where as all other trouts do. This type of trout can grow up to 120cm.
Passion fruit Trout
Or square tail trout can be confused to the common coral trout however this type of trout has blue spots on its abdomen. This type of trout can grow up to 70cm.
High fin Coral trout
This fish has blue lines and short bars cover the body and fins except for the rear and base of the tail where there are spots. Not as common as other trout around the Whitsundays, but these fish can be found if you look hard enough.