Tropical Lure Fishing Identity
Tony is an Airlie Beach based angler who has been fishing “lure-only” for fifteen years. Tony loves his giant trevally and reef flats fishing but is also one of a handful of dedicated anglers who are making inroads into fishing for red emperor on lures. In this episode Tony shares some tips gleaned from over twenty years of fishing for giant trevally.
Tony’s Top Tips For Giant Trevally Fishing
- The three key ingredients for GT fishing are strong tidal flow, clear water and bait, in that order. Tony prefers to be on the water at first light, before boat traffic spooks the fish, but GT’s can be taken right through the day at times.
- The three to four days leading up to the new moon are prime giant trevally fishing times.
- Look for places where pressure waves form from tidal currents striking rocky points in deep water. Use spot lock on your electric motor to stay up current and fire casts towards the shore. GT’s are often wide of the rocks, so start casting well out from the shore. If you have no luck then work to the side and make casts at 45 degrees to the boat. Take care not to drift or motor over where you plan to put your casts.
- The relatively shallow channels between islands where water flows quickly are also prime spots. Drift through the channel making casts at 45 degrees up current on one side of the boat.
- Glassy, oil slick days are tough. Tony likes days with around 10 knots of wind best as the fish are often up near the surface and the water is not too rough to work surface lures. On rougher days it’s still possible to catch fish, but you’ll have better luck using sinking stickbaits.
- Tony recommends using strong treble hooks on the front of your lures and a large single on the tail. He prefers barbless hooks for easy release without damaging fish.
- Giant trevally have insane jaw strength and can clamp down and hold a lure whilst swimming strongly, then open their mouths and let the lure go. It’s very important to set the hooks very hard with two to for aggressive rips of the rod before settling in to the fight.
- When playing GT’s in shallow water, get the boat on top of them and work the fish upwards, minimising the opportunity for them to get their head down into structure.
Tony’s Giant Trevally Fishing Tackle
- Even relatively small GT’s are tough, but theres always a chance of a 50kg fish and if that happens you don’t want to be under-gunned.
- Tony uses a Temple Reef Ronin 80-10 heavy Stickbait rod or a Temple Reef Reefer 71-18Stickbait/Popping rod with a Saltiga 6500 or Stella 18000 reel, YGK Full Drag PE10 braid and 180lb Verivas leader
- All tackle has to be super strong. Tony suggests 250lb breaking strain rings, crimped leaders and an FG knot connecting line and leader.
Tony’s Best GT Fishing Lures
- For surface fishing Tony likes the Fifth Element Street Fighter (100g) or the FCL Labo CSP in 220g. These are super well made lures that can take large hooks and will work well in relatively rough conditions. There are three retrieves: short, sharp stabs that cause the lure to duck under and resurface, longer sweeps with pauses between, or a “walk the dog” style retrieve when cast upcurrent at 45 degrees. It’s important to have the pauses and fish often smash a surface lure during the pause.
- When popping it’s best to find a lure that has a longer shape and holds the water well and Tony likes the Black Ledge 95g Flare Popper. This lure casts very well, holds the water and has a nice action. Poppers are a good choice if the fish are down deeper and can sometimes cause fish to come to the surface from 20m or so down.
- When the fish are down deep, through the middle of the day, or when it’s too rough to work surface lures easily a sinking stickbait is a good option. The Fifth Element 130g sinking stickbait has tons of flash and can be worked very briskly, making it perfect for this style of fishing.