Trevally, Black

(Caranx lugubris)

Commonly referred to as Black trev‘s!

The black 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 surface lure and fly making them one of the most highly prized sport fish available today!


Black trevally can be located from as far south as Exmouth right up to the magnificent Kimberley region throughout Western Australia and also extend across the top end and down into northern QLD.


Black trevally grow to around 20kg in weight and measure up to 90cm in length although a typical sized fish is around 4 – 5kg in most locations.


Black trevally prefer deeper water with large numbers of small bait fish present. Black trevally are often encountered after dark in shallow protected lagoons and anchorages.


Black trevally are easily recognised by their thin yet muscular body shape and dark body colouration. Black trevally are typically dark brown to grey in colouration with jet black fins and tail scoots.  The forehead is rounded leading down to a small, pointed snout.

Taste rating

  • Forty Taste Rating

Black trevally like most trevally species are better known for their sporting abilities rather than their eating qualities!

Sport rating

  • Eighty Sport Rating

Black 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. 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 these, 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 after dark are best suited for targeting black trevally.


[What The Fish]