Beware of the sharp dorsal spines when handling inshore coral trout. To maximise their eating qualities these fish should be killed humanely by iki jime, or a firm knock to the head before placing them in an ice slurry after bleeding.
- Olive to red brown or pink with numerous medium sized elongated blue spots along the flanks, extending to bars in the operculum region. There are 5 species of coral trout in Australian waters, distinguished mainly by their colouration, fin shapes and counts of gill rakers and fin rays. All have similar brain location.
- Inshore coral trout are protogynous hermaphrodites which mature first as females from around 18 months old (25-30 cm long) before changing to males later in life.
- Maximum reported age 12 years.
- Coral trouts (Plectropomus spp.) occur on coral and rocky reefs throughout the tropical and subtropical Indo-Pacific region. Plectropomus maculatus occurs on inshore rocky and coral reefs of the tropical and subtropical western Pacific Ocean, including throughout SE Asia. They can occur at water depths from 2 to 50 meters.
- Unlike other coral trouts, this species can be encountered around rocky outcrops in relatively turbid inshore waters, including estuaries, but is largely absent around clear offshore coral reefs.
Fish Size Common Length:
30-45 cm, maximum size around 75 cm and 5 kg.