Townsville Giant Trevally

by Vinnie Versfeld | Australian Lure Fishing


Vinnie Versfeld

Vinnie Versfeld

Fishing Guide, Presenter And Social Media Personality

Vinnie Versfeld has fished all over the world but has been a keen fisherman, guide, television and social media personality in the Townsville area for 14 years. As a former guide with Nomad Charters, Vinnie has had ample time to really figure out GT’s.

Vinnie’s Tips For Townsville Giant Trevally

  • Understanding how currents affect GT behaviour is critical. Townsville fishing spots don’t get oceanic currents, so periods of big tidal movement are the best times – look for places where bommies, reed, points, islands etc create pressure points where bait aggregates and GT will be in the vicinity.
  • Baitfish sit on the pressure edge of the current, but GT’s sit behind the bait where they can conserve energy. Casting ahead of the bait will often temp the larger GT, rather than smaller, more aggressive fish.
  • Don’t forget to set the hooks. Thick diameter hooks and a hard mouth require some force to get a solid hook set. Sometimes a single hook will give a better hook set, if the lure will allow it.
  • Don’t waste time on “bad bait”. If you find bait rippling on the surface and don’t get a take in the first couple of casts, it’s often better to move to a fresh school of bait. Look for fish that are active and feeding.
  • The best places to find GT’s is where there is current. Sometimes close in Townsville fishing spots like the cape or Salamander Island fish well, other times you may need to travel further- perhaps out to the Palm Islands group. Find the bait and you’ll find the fish.
  • First rule of keeping GT’s out of structure is not to cast directly over the bommie! If you can break a GT’s spirit by getting them away from structure early they sulk and become easier to fight. It’s also good to short stroke them to get some line back on the reel, a 1/4 lift is easier than long strokes of the rod and will take less out of the angler.

Vinnies Tackle Tips For GT’s

  • The heaviest Vinnie fishes for GT’s is 37kg tackle when popping around bommies. His heavy outfit is a Pioneer DTS8 rod with Okuma Azores spin reel, Platypus Platinum Plus braid and 150lb Platypus game leader.
  • Vinnie uses a 24kg outfit for stick baiting as it’s open water and fish don’t have to be turned to keep them out of structure.

Vinnie’s Top Lures For Townsville Giant Trevally

  • Fish Inc Scrum 140mm popper can be fished hard or fished slow. Cast long, let the lure settle near the bait, wind the slack and give a long sweep of the rod as though your’e setting a hook. With a popper it helps to cause a bait school to separate, making your lure stand out to the Gt’s.
  • Floating fullback stickbait 190mm is great when there are garfish, longtoms and flighty baits. These are best cast long and wound back with the rod held high to skip them across the surface like a fleeting baitfish. If the bite is slow, try walking the dog with the rod tip pointed down. Stickbaits are preferred to poppers when the water surface is glassed-out.
  • Hooker sinking stickbait is great when the fish are sitting deeper due to less run. Throw it out long, count it down and sweep back with big sweeps of the rod. Keep in touch with the lure as it sinks as these lures swim on the drop and most strikes happen on the drop.
  • When the fish are quiet or under pressure an 80mm Z-man Streak on a 1 to 3oz, 8/0 headlocks jig head can be fished in deeper water over reefs and wrecks to great effect. If fish are following but seem lure shy, switch to the 1oz jig head and simply cast and retrieve.

Best Months, Tides And Moon Phases For Giant Trevally

  • The best tides for Townsville GT fishing are the big tides. Vinnie is not a fan of the full moon as he suspects the GTs may feed at night and tend to digest food during the day. The dark moon when there are big tides and dark nights is ideal.
  • If the weather is great, forget the tides and just go chase them! But when good weather coincides with big tides on a dark moon, that’s the ultimate.
  • GT’s are prevalent on the reef all year round, but it’s hard work for anglers during the hotter months. Inshore water temps fall slightly over inter, so offshore reefs may fish better.

Mentioned Products

  • Halco Roosta Popper

Vinnies Sponsors

Tackle Tactics provide Vinnie with TT jig heads, Fish Inc lures, Z-Man soft plastics and Okuma Reels.

Platypus Lines and leaders are Vinnies preference for tought species like GT’s.

Vinnie uses and recommends Spotters sunglases

Vinnies boat is fitted with a Simrad sounder.

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