Giant Trevally

The Giant Trevally (GT) is the primary target for anglers working poppers and stickbaits all around Kadavu Island’s Barrier Reef slopes, coral bommies and inner lagoons. They range in size from 5kg juveniles to huge fish over 50kg.

The GT is one of the top apex predators on the reef system and unafraid of any other. They will even bully a shark !

Heavy tackle and heavy drag settings upwards of 20kg are required to stop a big GT from charging off into the reef and busting you off on a coral head. Notorious for their aggressive chasing and smashing of surface poppers, larger fish are perfectly capable of pulling an unprepared angler overboard. We release all GTs.


The giant trevally, Caranx ignobilis (also known as the giant kingfish, lowly trevally, barrier trevally, saga, ulua or GT), is a species of large marine fish classified in the jack family, Carangidae.

The giant trevally is distributed throughout the tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific region, with a range stretching from South Africa in the west to Hawaii in the east, including Japan in the north and Australia in the south.

The giant trevally is distinguished by its steep head profile, strong tail scutes and a variety of other more detailed anatomical features. It is normally a silvery colour with occasional dark spots, however males may be black once they mature.

It is the largest fish in the genus Caranx, growing to a maximum known size of 170 cm and a weight of 80 kg. The giant trevally inhabits a wide range of marine environments, from estuaries, shallow bays and lagoons as a juvenile to deeper reefs, offshore atolls and large embayments as an adult. Juveniles of the species are known to live in waters of very low salinity such as coastal lakes and upper reaches of rivers, and tend prefer turbid waters.

The giant trevally is a powerful apex predator in most of its habitats, and is known to hunt individually and in schools. The species predominantly takes various fish as prey, although crustaceans, cephalopods and molluscs make up a considerable part of the diet in some regions.

The species has some quite novel hunting strategies including following monk seals and stealing prey that is stirred up, as well as using sharks to ambush prey. The species reproduces in the warmer months, with peaks differing by region. Spawning occurs at specific stages of the lunar cycle, when large schools of giant trevally congregate to spawn over reefs and bays, with reproductive behaviour observed in the wild.

The fish grows relatively fast, reaching sexual maturity at a length of around 60 cm at 3 years of age. The giant trevally is both an important species to commercial fisheries and a recognised gamefish, with the species taken by nets and lines by professionals and by bait and lures by anglers. Catch statistics in the Asian region show hauls of 4000-10 000 tonnes, while around 10 000 lbs of the species is taken in Hawaii each year. The species is considered poor to excellent table fare by different authors, although ciguatera poisoning is common in the fish. Dwindling numbers around the main Hawaiian Islands have also led to several proposals to reduce the catch of fish in this region.


Giant trevally. (2009, December 18). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.


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