Commonly referred to as Long nosed!
The tea leaf 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 tea leaf trevally one of the most highly prized sport fish available today! The nick name tea leaf trevally derives from the appearance of small, dark tea leaf like patterns found along the body of the fish.
Tea leaf trevally can be located from as far south as Shark Bay right up to the magnificent Kimberley region throughout Western Australia and also extend across the top end and down into northern N.S.W.
Tea leaf trevally grow to around 12kg in weight and measure up to 90cm in length although a typical sized fish is around 3 – 4kg in most locations.
Tea leaf trevally prefer deeper water with large numbers of small bait fish present. Tea leaf trevally are often encountered whilst bottom fishing for other more desirable northern species.
Tea leaf trevally are easily recognised by their thin yet muscular body shape and complete lack of scales on the belly section. They are often confused with the bludger trevally which is very similar in appearance apart from the presence of breast scales and dark spots. Tea leaf trevally are typically silver to gold, green to grey in colouration with lightly coloured fins. There are sharp tail scoots present at the base of the tail and mottled spots can be seen on the upper body of the fish which can be a mixture of both dark and golden colours.
Tea leaf trevally like most trevally species are better known for their sporting abilities rather than their eating qualities!
Tea leaf trevally, like all trevally are a hard fighting species that will test the skill of most anglers.
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.
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!
Wearing a casting glove not only prevents line cuts during long casting sessions but also protects wet, soft hands from razor sharp tail scoots!
Rising or full tides are best suited for targeting most inshore species including trevally.