Trevally, Brassy

(Caranx papuensis)

Commonly referred to as Brassys!

The brassy 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 feeding patterns make them an excellent target for both lure and fly making the brassy trevally one of the most highly prized sport fish available today! The later half of their scientific name papuensis is derived from the word Papuan and may be an indication of where this species was firstly discovered.


Brassy 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.


Brassy trevally grow to around 12kg in weight and measure up to 90cm in length although a typical sized brassy is around 6 – 8kg in most  locations.


Brassy 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. Brassy’s can also be encountered in deeper water to 30 meters when spawning and are often seen feeding amongst other pelagic species such as mackerel and tuna.


Brassy trevally are often confused for the mighty giant trevally – caranx ignobilis and although there are many similarities between the two species the brassy trevally is easily identified by its yellow fin colouration. Brassy trevally generally have a longer body shape to that of the G.T. also. Sharp tail scoots are present at the base of the tail and the mouth is extremely powerful with some nasty teeth present.

Taste rating

  • Forty Taste Rating

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

Sport rating

  • Eighty Sport Rating

Brassy trevally, like all trevally are a hard fighting species that will test the skill of most anglers, they are second only to the mighty giant trevally when it comes to popper crunching, arm wrenching power!

Tackle requirements

Medium to heavy weight graphite rods in the 10 – 15kg range, around 6’ in length matched to spin reels in the 8000 – 10,000 class spooled with braided or gel spun lines with a breaking strain of 30 – 50lb are ideal for casting lures both from the shore and out in the boat for most trevally species including brassy‘s. Trolling is also a popular technique and requires an overhead or spin combo spooled with 10 – 15kg brightly coloured nylon or braided line. Medium class 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 brassy’s, 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 to medium sized hard bodied lures are also 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 super aggressive 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 inshore species including brassy trevally.


[What The Fish]