Trevally, Golden

(Gnathanodon speciosus)

Commonly referred to as Goldens!

The golden 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 shallow water feeding patterns make them an excellent target for both lure and fly making the golden trevally one of the most highly prized sport fish available to shore based anglers. They can be often seen feeding on shallow sand flats with their bright yellow tails completely out of the water as they forage for prey items buried in the sand.

Distribution

Golden 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

Golden trevally grow to around 15kg in weight and measure up to 100cm in length although a typical sized golden is around 4 – 6kg in most Australian locations.

Habitat

Golden trevally prefer shallow sand flats and reef with near by access to deeper water present, they also frequent areas such as jetty’s, in shore reef systems and estuary’s. Golden’s can also be encountered in deeper water to 30 meters when spawning and are often seen feeding amongst large, clumps of weed.

Identification

Golden trevally are easily identified by their yellow to golden colouration. They have a large, expanding mouth with no teeth present. Juvenile golden’s are a bright yellow colouration with vertical black bars running down the body, these bars later fade with age to be quite faint on larger specimens.

Taste rating

  • Sixty Taste Rating
    60%

Golden’s like most trevally species are better known for their sporting abilities rather than their eating qualities although smaller specimens around 1 – 2kg are ideal when eaten as sashimi or nomas!

Sport rating

  • Eighty Sport Rating
    80%

Golden trevally, like all trevally are a hard fighting species that will test the skill of most anglers and are especially challenging on fly tackle!

Tackle requirements

Light to medium weight graphite rods in the 6 – 10kg range, around 6’ in length matched to spin reels in the 4000 – 6000 class spooled with braided or gel spun lines with a breaking strain of 10 – 20lb are ideal for casting lures both from the shore and out in the boat for most trevally species including golden’s. Trolling is also a popular technique and requires an overhead or spin combo spooled with 8 – 10kg brightly coloured nylon or braided line. Medium class lever drag reels and light rods are ideally suited for this exciting style of fishing. Golden trevally do not have teeth but nylon or fluoro carbon leaders are generally required to provide stretch when fishing with braided lines and also to prevent being rubbed off on rough structures. Golden 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

Small pieces of cut fish and squid as well as larger baits such as whole mullies will all make great baits for fussy trevally such as golden’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. 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

Polaroid sunglasses will aid anglers in identifying golden trevally in clear, shallow water.

Preferred fishing times and tides

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

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