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Giant Trevally Fishing Overview

When you can identify a fish just by its initials, you know its already a legend in its own right. The Giant Trevally (GT) is truly the king of the jacks, and is incredible fun to catch. This apex predator dominates its home habitat of the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans and is known to be high in intelligence, using novel techniques to stake out its prey. The giant trevally is generally considered one of the top if not THE top gamefish in its sphere of the world, and we couldn't recommend it more.

Everything You Need to Know About Giant Trevally Fishing

What is a giant trevally fish?

Giant trevally fish have it all. GTs are a member of the family of fish known as either jacks or trevallies, and the GT has adopted a number of names for itself which, again, speak to how iconic and well-known this fish is. Alternatively known as the lowly trevally, barrier trevally, giant kingfish, ulua, or its scientific name, Caranx ignobilis, the GT fish is a fish of many names.

Giant trevally Are typically silver in color and have some dark freckles, and males can get darker as they mature. Like many species in the jack family, they have a high, sloping forehead.

An extremely powerful and athletic fish for their size, giant trevally have historically been held in extremely high regard by many local populations. In Hawaii, they were revered as the famous Ulua, and considered an almost human, warrior-like fish that could not be eaten by women or hunted by commoners. There are stories that say when human sacrifice was not available, GTs would be used instead.

How big do giant trevally get?

Giant trevally can grow to fairly substantial sizes as the largest member of its scientific family. Giant trevallies have a total length between 30 and 70 inches, height between 10 and 20 inches, and an overall weight in the range of 30-130 pounds. They are commonly found no bigger than 3 feet and 50 pounds.

Whats the biggest giant trevally ever caught?

The IGFA all-tackle world record giant trevally is a massive 160+ pounder caught in Japan of all places.

Where is the best place to catch giant trevally?

Geographically you can catch giant trevally anywhere in the Indian Ocean, as well as anywhere in the Western Pacific from New Zealand to Japan. There have also been murmurs of a few fish being spotted on the west coast of South America, but it remains to be seen if populations will establish themselves there.

In terms of habitat, giant trevally are known to inhabit a fairly wide range of marine environments, including closer to shore areas like bays and lagoons (especially while they are younger and may not require or prefer as much salt water), as well as deeper reefs and atolls.

The GT is considered a semipelagic fish and will alternate between inshore and offshore waters, as well as up and down in the water column. They are also known to locally travel - moving between reefs and from deeper to shallower waters - and often have a territory where they hunt.

When should I catch giant trevally?

In terms of time of day, you'll want to target them sunrise and sunset, or otherwise when the baitfish are swimming most prominently in the area. In terms of season, this will depend on where in the world you are as giant trevally vary widely in terms of their range and location. For more popular fishing areas like Australia, the busiest season will be October to December, but there, like in most places, the fish can be caught year-round.

How do you catch giant trevally?

The giant trevally is a solitary fish for the most part, only congregating while mating or occasionally to hunt together. And since they are known to move around while hunting, they can be notoriously difficult to locate. When in deeper water you will need to chum. In shallower water, you should aim for the flats where you will be able to see them tail and push water before them.

Since giant trevallies are voracious hunters and will eat tons of different food, they can be caught on a wide variety of lures and baits. They are said to be susceptible to poppers and the noise they make, but many individuals have made work many strategies and lures. Many fly fishermen consider GT to be one of the top saltwater targets and will try to take them on the fly.

Once hooked, GTs are powerful and strong and will fight hard - one of the reasons they are such an awesome fish to catch and so well known as a gamefish. You will need heavy tackle.

Are giant trevally good to eat? What are the best giant trevally recipes?

While the GT historically has been eaten in many parts of the world, this is falling out of practice. The fishery has been somewhat in decline, and in addition there have been rumors of suspected ciguatera (a toxin found in certain reef fish). Most anglers today practice catch and release to show respect for the fish, and they are mainly fished for the thrill, challenge, and the fight, rather than for the table fare.