Fish Species Of North Queensland
The Coral Trout is highly prized for its eating qualities and this tropical reef fish can be found throughout the region. It is a handsome looking fish, varying from dark crimson to light pink / gray in color with blue spots, and derives its name from its appearance, looking similar to fresh water trout. The similarity ends there though.
They have quite large dog like teeth and are aggressive feeders. Coral Trout are usually caught while “bottom bouncing” the coral bommies but will also take lures trolled around the reef structure.
The preferred method to catch these magnificent eating fish is to use fresh fish and squid baits hooked on a standard dropper rig of heavy 60lb + handline. Let the sinker down to just touch the reef bottom, then raise the rig about two feet from the structure to reduce snagging. Allow the fish to have its initial taste then strike hard to set the 6/0 hook into their hard bony mouth.
If intended for the dinner table, trout like all prime eating reef fish, should be immediately bled, gilled and gutted and placed in a slurry of ice and sea water. This will ensure optimum quality. Best targeted during the cooler months from April to October.
Close inshore reefs can easily be over fished for trout, their appeal for the table making them probably the most important reef fish in the Tropics. Size and bag limits apply and all fish caught must be returned whole to the boat ramps.