Trevally, Big eye

(Caranx sexfasciatus)

Commonly referred to as Big eye’s!

The big eye trevally like all trevally species is a strong and robust sport fish that is commonly encountered by anglers in warm, tropical waters around Australia. Their aggressive after dark feeding patterns make them an excellent target for both lure and fly making the big eye trevally one of the most highly prized sport fish available today!

Distribution

Big eye trevally can be located from as far south as Shark Bay right up to the magnificent Kimberley region throughout Western Australia and also parts of Queensland and the Northern Territory.

Growth

Big eye trevally grow to around 18kg in weight and measure up to 1.2m in length although a typical sized big eye is around 3 – 4kg in most locations.

Habitat

Big eye trevally prefer shallow sand flats and reef with near by access to deeper water with large numbers of small bait fish present, they also frequent areas such as jetty’s, in shore reef systems and estuary’s. Big eye’s can also be encountered in deeper water to 30 meters when spawning and are often taken as a bi catch whilst trolling for mackerel and coral trout etc.

Identification

Big eye trevally are easily recognised by their round, muscular body shape and large eye. They are blue, green to grey in colouration with a white mark located at the tip of the second dorsal fin. There is also a dark spot present on the operculum. Big eye’s also have sharp tail scoots at the base of the tail.

Taste rating

  • Forty Taste Rating
    40%

Big eye‘s like most trevally species are better known for their sporting abilities rather than their eating qualities!

Sport rating

  • Eighty Sport Rating
    80%

Big eye trevally, like all trevally are a hard fighting species that will test the skill of most anglers.

Tackle requirements

Light to medium weight graphite rods in the 6 – 10kg range, around 6’ in length matched to spin reels in the 4000 – 8000 class spooled with braided or gel spun lines with a breaking strain of 20 – 30lb are ideal for casting lures both from the shore and out in the boat for most trevally species including big eye. Trolling is also a popular technique and requires a light overhead or spin combo spooled with 6 – 10kg brightly coloured nylon or braided line. Small lever drag reels and light rods are ideally suited for this exciting style of fishing. Most trevally do have small, sharp teeth so nylon or fluoro carbon leaders are generally required to prevent bite offs. Trevally are also a fantastic target species for salt water fly out fits which should be rated to between 7# – 9# depending on the size of fish being targeted.

Recommended baits, lures and rigs

Live hardy heads, small mullet and whiting will all make great live baits for fussy trevally such as big eye, try fishing them on long, nylon or fluoro carbon leaders and running sinker rigs. It is also important to match your hook size to your bait. Small hard bodied lures 10 -20cms in length are ideal for both casting from shore and trolling from a boat at around 4 – 6 knots for many species including trevally with metal slices, soft plastics, surface lures and fly’s also proving to be incredibly effective on this veracious species. Surface lures such as poppers and stick baits are not only especially effective but also visually spectacular when launched upon by large, powerful trevs!

Handy hints and tips

Wearing a casting glove not only prevents line cuts during long casting sessions but also protects wet, soft hands from razor sharp tail scoots!

Preferred fishing times and tides

Rising or full tides are best suited for targeting most species including big eye trevally.

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