Updated: Jun 18
Fly fishing for giant trevally is an extremely difficult task. This style of fishing is not recommended for beginner anglers. These fish have immense power and strength. The giant trevally is also referred to as GTs. They are aggressive fish that will eat nearly anything. Such as mullet, crabs, eels and bonefish. Being able to fight and land one of these fish is one of the best fly fishing accomplishments.
Understanding the Species
The giant trevally is one of the main predators in its region. It is a large, dominant, brutish fish. It has a large gaping mouth for consuming prey. The largest giant trevally ever caught was in Japan, weighing in at 160 pounds. The GT is the largest fish of the trevally family. Adults are typically found alone on reefs, but juveniles will gather in schools in shallow coastal environments. The fish has a steep forehead and is silver/gold in colour. The older giant trevally can slowly turn to a dark grey/black in colour. The GTs spawn on shallow seaward reefs and offshore banks
● Giant Trevally top speed is 60km/hour
● Giant Trevally average age is six to seven years old
● Giant trevally average weight is 13KG
● Giant trevally average length is 85cm
These fish will need the best gear available. The immense power of the fish puts rods and reels under a lot of strain. You will need to invest in multiple rods as it is not uncommon for at least one-rod break per trip. The higher the quality, the better. The GT will take any fly exceptionally violently.
Flies and Lines
There are three main flies available for GT fishing. Different flies generally fish better in other areas you are fishing. Lighter coloured flies are typically used on the white sand. Darker coloured patterns are more suitable for surf areas and areas with large amounts of coral.
● Poppers - Poppers make great movement in the water. This movement helps to lure GTs into striking them. Poppers are fished within deeper bodies of water. A popper is a surface lure that skips across the water to attract fish. The unique thing about surface poppers is that they have a cupped face at the front that is designed to push out a surge of water on its retrieval.
● Black Brush - The black brush is used in a variety of scenarios. It moves through the water imitating fish species. Having a bright attraction colour within a black brush will increase the chances of a take.
● Olive and Red Simper - This fly is fast and long. Travelling through the water with an array of colours. The simper moves in a specific way which makes it more likely to be struck by a GT.
Expectations and Mentality
Understanding what you are going for is essential for any GT fishing trip. If you are fishing for other species as well as GT, it is vital to note that areas you fish for other species may not have the correct requirements for a successful GT catch. If you choose to fish from the shore, you will need to wade out to drop-offs in the water for larger sizes of GTs. GT fishing is extremely tiring and time-consuming, making the reward of catching one very sweet.
Beach Fishing Tides
GT’s like an incoming tide onto the flats as they know that there will be plenty of water following them and that they will not get stranded. In addition, incoming tides bring various other species in, such as bonefish. This makes it easy for the giant trevally to feast in an incoming tide
Locations & Tides
Many giant trevally destinations have various guides and resorts due to the enormous demand for catching these fish. The majority of GT locations require a significant, multiple flight journey, including boat transfers to remote areas. If you love adventure and challenge, giant trevally fishing is for you. The GTs are mainly distributed within the Indo-Pacific tropical waters. From South Africa to Hawaii, GTs cover a broad range. Giant trevally can be found in shallow flats, lagoons and various bays. When giant trevally grows to its full size, it can enter much deeper water.
How to Find Giant Trevallys
Within a tide going out, low point channels act as a stream for smaller fish to travel through to get back to deeper water. Casting into these can be a great location to catch GTs. This is because they will wait at the end of the channels to catch and consume prey fish.
How Do You Play a GT On a Fly?
A general rule of thumb is to ensure the GT does not take too much line at once. The main issue with this is that it can swim around coral and snap the line immediately. Practising fish control is essential to land a GT due to its immense power and speed. Continually change sides and allow the tip to stay bent, and keep tension at all times.
Any slight loosen in the line can let the GT shake the hook loose. Continually pull the line in with any opportunity you get. The GT will finally turn onto its side after the fight, and at this point, you can pul it in but do not be shocked if the battle recommences.
Overall, GT fishing is about adrenaline, your hunting capabilities, the presentation of the fly, the
chase, the take, the fast-paced runs, the battles and eventually the capture and photo. It is
essential to get the right tides, depths, locations and presentation and the best way to find out
all of this is to get an excellent experienced guide.
By Daniel ONeill.