The giant trevally’s all-out dogged fight and considerable size produce epic fights on topwater poppers for anglers willing to mess with the ill-tempered jack. Even though the species is not available to mainland U.S. anglers, tales of the heroic battles have spread among U.S. fishing circles like wildfire.
The IGFA all-tackle record GT weighed 160 pounds, caught near Tokara, Japan. That’s bigger than the largest amberjack ever landed, and it’s more than double the size of the largest jack crevalle ever recorded by the IGFA.
Tanzania, November 2011
Martin Larsson, of Tanzania, hooked this 124-pound, 12-ounce ounce brute while trolling with 50-pound-class tackle. The fish attacked a trolled ballyhoo and took 35 minutes to fight to the boat.
Australia, June 1996
Fishing in Australia’s Seymour River Estuary, Esme Henderson hooked a 72-pound giant trevally while casting a deep-diving plug. The 77-pound fish took 45 minutes to land on 12-pound tackle.
Seychelles, May 1999
Giant trevally inhabit warm coastal waters of the Indian and central Pacific oceans, eastward to the Hawaiian and Marquesas Islands. Other popular waters to catch GTs include Kenya and other parts of Africa, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Malaysia and Hawaii.
Fly angler Colleen Vaday hooked this 45-pound fish on a deceiver fly while fishing Alphonse Island, Seychelles. She landed the fish after a 30-minute fight, taking extra care with her 16-pound tippet.
Japan, May 2006
Keiki Hamasaki, of Kagoshima, Japan, landed this all-tackle world-record giant trevally without the help of a boat. He hooked the 160-pound, 7-ounce fish from shore while casting a plug with 130-pound tackle. Total fight time was just 35 minutes. Imagine the knots necessary to fight this monster GT from land!
Kiribati, February 1995
Similar species to giant trevally include jack crevalle, horse-eye jack, Pacific jack crevalle, bigeye trevally and bluefin trevally — but the giant trevally grows the biggest of them all.
Fly angler Bud Korteweg, of River Edge, New Jersey, landed this 35-pound trevally at Christmas Island using 8-pound tippet. The fish hit a Tarpon fly and took 30 minutes to land on the flats.
Hawaii, March 1991
Some Hawaiian anglers report that the darker the night, the more actively giant trevally feed. But daylight didn’t stop Russell Mori from hooking this 145-pound, 8-ounce fish near Makena, Maui, using moray eel as bait. The shore angler landed the GT in 1 hour on 80-pound tackle.
Cook Islands, January 2014
Now that IGFA all-tackle length records are available for many different fish species, increasing numbers of anglers can release their catch and still make it into the record books. Australian Paul Worsteling fished the Cook Islands with Capt. Etu Davey to land this 42.9-inch (109 cm) fish. He cast a popper to the GT before landing the fish in just 7 minutes.
Reunion Island, March 2009
Audrey Ferrand was bait fishing near St. Gilles when this 105-pound, 13-ounce giant trevally grabbed her bait. Using 130-pound tackle, Ferrand landed the giant jack after a 1-hour, 15-minute fight time.
Mauritius, February 2010
Many adult giant trevally feed outside reef drop-offs in deeper waters. Junior angler William Klein, from France, landed this giant trevally off the coast of Rodriguez Island, Mauritius. He used a chunk of bonito head as bait to land the 94-pound, 12-ounce fish in 15 minutes.
Australia, December 1996
Raymond Revill used light 2-pound tackle and a Boone Popper to land this 31-pound, 4-ounce giant trevally in Hervey Bay, Australia. Even though the catch wasn’t the largest GT ever, it took quite a fight, lasting 65 minutes to land. On the opposite end of the spectrum, one giant trevally photo on social media showed a fish that looked close to 175 to 200 pounds. Though the mystery GT photo was never verified by the IGFA, and little-to-no background on the catch or angler is available, both of these photos show why giant trevally fishing is so popular — just look at the anglers’ faces.