Golden Trevally Fishing

Golden Trevally Fishing

Golden Trevally

Golden Trevally
  • Size 5 to 15lbs
  • Food Value Low
  • Game Qualities Excellent
  • Habitats Inshore, Nearshore, Reef, Flats

(Gnathanodon speciosus)

Golden Trevallies are a uniquely colored and elusive species of the Carangidae family, which includes Jacks and Trevallies. They are an excellent challenge on light tackle and anglers target them almost exclusively for sport.

The gold color that juvenile specimens boast slowly fades as they get older and is replaced by dark vertical stripes and/or spots. If these aren't pronounced, it's easy to mistake the Golden Trevally for other species, however, their hard rubbery mouths, built for seafloor foraging, are a good point of distinguishment.

They mostly feed in sandy bottoms up to 130ft deep and can be found in deep lagoons and around seaweed covered reefs. They form small schools and younger fish often swim with larger species such as sharks, rays, jellyfish, seasnakes, turtles etc. for protection.

How big

The species can grow to about 4ft and over 30lbs, however, fish will be common up to 15lbs.


Golden Trevally are widely, yet scarcely, distributed throughout the Indian Ocean, starting from South Africa, throughout South and Southeastern Asia, into the Pacific Ocean north to Japan, south to Australia and east to Central America, where they can be found from Baja California to Ecuador.

They are rare throughout most of their range, but can be found commonly off northern and western Australia, from Carnarvon and Shark Bay to the border of NT, regularly in flats off Exmouth, Onslow, Port Hedland and Dampier.

How to catch

These feisty fish will respond well to chumming, which serves to distract them from bottom feeding and attract them to the surface. They are voracious and will go for most small baitfish, but more often for artificials such as flies, poppers and stickbaits, with jigs and soft plastic lures being effective around bottom structure.

Even though they will hit surface baits, once they are hooked, they will head for the bottom and stay down there as long as they have energy.

Good to eat?

Edible, but not the best tasting Trevally. If kept for food, should be bled and iced immediately.

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