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Coral Trout Whitsundays

Updated 30/12/21


Coral Trout are unique marine species as they 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 generally be females and larger trout will be male).

Coral Trout are fish-eating predators. They eat during daylight hours and most often at dusk or dawn every 1-3 days. Adult trouts usually feed on damsel fish and are known to eat smaller coral trout. Juvenile trout will eat crustaceans, such as prawns. Male Coral Trouts are known to change color around their fins when enticing female trouts to mate, they will also perform an elaborate courtship display. The colour change is instant and breathtaking to watch whilst scuba diving!

Coral Trout are generally plentiful and found in the calm waters of the Whitsundays, which are a part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Unfortunately they are a prized table fish, however, several regulations have been put in place over the years to enable sustainable fish stocks.

Be sure to keep your eyes out for Coral Trout whilst snorkelling on one of our jam-packed, adventurous day or overnight trips of the Whitsunday Islands. Or give your shot at casting a line in the Whitsundays on one of our fishing tours!

Common Coral Trout

Common Coral Trout, also known as Leopard Trout and Strawberry Trout, are the most common species of trout found in the abundant Whitsundays region. They grow to a maximum of 70cm, and can be seen in colours of orange, red, brown, pink, and green. Distinctive blue spots on their head, body, and fins, and a blue ring around the eyes make them easy to spot!

Bar Cheeked Coral Trout

Bar Cheeked Coral Trout, also known as Inshore Trout and Island Trout, can grow up to 120cm and are recognized by their distinctive blue spots which are elongated on the body to look like bars. This species can be commonly mistaken for the Common Coral Trout, with an easy way to tell them apart being that the Bar Cheeked Coral Trout does not have transparent pectoral fins.

Passion Fruit Trout

Passion Fruit Trout, also known as Square Tail Trout, can grow up to 70cm and can be recognized by the distinctive blue spots on their abdomen.

High Fin Trout

The High Fin Trout has distinctive blue lines and short bars that cover its body, except for the rear and base of the tail which are covered in distinctive spots. This species of trout are not as common as the other species listed above in the Whitsundays region, however can certainly be found if you look hard enough!

Two people snorkelling on fringing reefs, Whitsundays

Call us on +61 7 4914 2425 or live chat today to explore your dream fishing day trip, or overnight adventure of the idyllic Whitsunday Islands!

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