Hervey Bay Sportsfishing Guide
Tri has spent the past 8 years as a sportfishing guide working the Hervey Bay, Fraser Island and Great Sandy Straits area to help clients target a range of species from tunas to mackerel and of course trevally. Prior to that he had a decade working in the tackle trade, so his entire working life revolves around fishing.
Tri’s Top Golden Trevally Fishing Tips
- Golden trevally are extremely prolific around Hervey Bay, Fraser Island and the Great Sandy Strait. There are two options for targeting them: The flats are not what they were a couple of decades ago, but persistent and committed anglers still take goldens on the flats. The deep-water fishery is less visual but far more consistent these days.
- This species is a year-round option in the Hervey Bay area, although Tri prefers to target them in winter when they are less active but school up in large numbers. Sharks are less of a problem in winter and fish tend to release better, too.
- Plan your trip around tides – you want some run, but not so much it’s not fishable. On the bigger tides around the new and full moons it’s best to head into the bigger water of Wide Bay, where the water movement is enough to stimulate a bite, but not too difficult to fish. On the smaller tides, head into the Great Sandy Strait where there is more tidal current.
- Golden trevally are a mobile species, so you need to spend some time looking for them, so marine electronics are vital. Spend some time trolling while you watch the sounder, or if you find mackerel or tuna feeding, drop a lure beneath them.
- If you find a school of trevally they might be milling around but not necessarily feeding. If you spend an hour or two dropping lures on them you might find what switches them on.
- Goldens don’t seem to be bothered by weather conditions but flat conditions are great if you’re sitting on a school trying to get them to bite.
- If sharks are a problem, please don’t stay on the spot and keep killing one fish after another. Look for sharks on your sounder before you start fishing and move around on trevally schools until you find one where the sharks aren’t. Otherwise, change target species and go after some mackerel or tuna, keeping an eye on the sounder for an opportunity to drop a lure to a golden.
Tri’s Golden Trevally Fishing Tackle
- Gear for fishing for golden trevally around this area needs to be sturdy – there are lots of species in this area and though you might be targeting trevally, anything could take a lure.
- A stout PE3, or 30lb, jig rod is a good choice, although a little heavy for the relatively small lures used to target goldens, but allows the angler to subdue the fish quickly to avoid getting sharked. A matching spin or overhead reel, 30lb braid and a 30-40lb leader completes the combo.
- A heavy snapper plastics rod with 20lb braid and 20-30lb leader is perfect to get finesse bites. Spin gear is better, but baitcast can be used also – it saves a lot of pain if you have a rod with a longer butt that can be tucked under the armpit during the fight.
- Tri doesn’t like the multi-coloured braids, preferring bright, easy to see lines that help him visually detect a bite when a lure is on the drop.
Tri’s Golden Trevally Fishing Lures
- A 4” Z-Man curl tail grub in a natural colour on a 3/8-3/4 oz jig head is great for getting bites when the fish aren’t super aggressive. Tri generally prefers these in more natural colours but can switch it up to brighter colours if the bite is an aggressive one. Tri finds that this lure is often the only one that golden trevally will take during the winter when they are schooled up. Work them with twitches, fast, medium or slow, followed by pauses to let the lure sink back through the school. Adjust your approach to keep the lure close to the depth that fish are holding.
- A pink or bubblegum coloured Z-Man Streakz or similar jerk shad is a popular lure in the Hervey Bay area for targeting tuna, but is equally effective on golden trevally. Tri also likes them in natural colours, chartreuse and electric chicken at times. These lures are fished on the heavier jig heads and are worked aggressively with a “burn and kill” retrieve (ie several very fast cranks of the reel followed by a pause to let the lure sink).
- A Palms Slow Blatt jig in either wide or cast pattern and 30-60g weights are deadly on goldens. Tri upgrades the hooks to 1/0 Van Fook for better strength and penetration. These lures can be cast or dropped vertically to take advantage of the opportunity to quickly drop a lure in the slot. If fish are active the lure will be taken before it hits bottom. Otherwise, Tri likes to use a medium pitch retrieve to start with a twitch at the top of each stroke.
Fraser Guided Fishing
Tri is able to take groups of 1-4 anglers on 1/2 and full day charters from Hervey Bay to target not only golden trevally but a host of other species such as various mackerels, tunas, cobia, marlin and other varieties of trevally. You can get in touch with him via the Fraser Guided Fishing website.