Leviathan of the Coral Seas

GT - Cult Status in Sportfishing

Caranx ignobilis is the largest Member of the of the of the trevally (Jack) family (Carangidae). It is notorious for aggressive chasing and smashing of surface poppers. GT has a steep forehead. Head and body are dusky golden dorsally and silver ventrally. Fins are gray to black. GT is a powerful apex predator of coral reefs, growing to at least 1.7 metres long and 180 pounds on the old scale (80 kg), but the current world record is “only” 160lb/72.8 kg for a fish taken in Japan.

Anglers targeting large GTs use modern high tech heavy spin tackle, armed with state of the art poppers and jigs with strong single hooks (usually barbless) and the best terminal gear. Having outstanding strength, speed and endurance once hooked, GT is considered one of the top gamefish of the Red Sea.

It is a semi-pelagic fish known to spend time throughout the water column, but is mostly demersal in nature. GT inhabits waters with deep drop-offs near the coast.  Adults are sedentary, prefer rocky areas near shore or outside reef drop offs, and feed most actively at night. Older individuals tend to move to deeper seaward reefs. Large individuals however do often return to shallower waters as they patrol their range, often to hunt or reproduce. It spends much of its time foraging over shallow-water reef habitats. GT are often found cruising the wave swept whitewater edges as they search and hunt for prey.


  • If you are fishing for these using poppers or stickbaits, you need a very stout spinning or conventional setup capable of making long casts with these heavy luresbroke me off in the rocks When a grouper makes it into a rock or reef, many anglers will simply break off the line and try again. The savvy angler will give the fish a loose line for as long as thirty minutes to allow the fish to relax and possibly swim out from under the structure. It has worked for many anglers on more than one occasion.

Giant trevally will take live or dead whole fish and fillet baits as well as soft plastics and trolled minnows, Pencil Popper like Heru Skipjack and Heru Cubera. Some of the best giant trevally fishing is done using poppers and a ‘rip and sit’ slow retrieval that will create a big splash and then allow the rear of the popper to sink for a moment before continuing. Other techniques include minnow lures, leadhead jigs and live bait rigs.

Great Trevally Safari

46 kg Giant Trevally caught by Peter from Austria on Bannoura boat trolling near reef at Berenice in May 2013.

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