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Best Lures for Giant Trevally: The Ultimate Guide

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The giant trevally (Carynx Ignobilis) has a fierce reputation, and it is completely justified, pound for pound, possibly the strongest fish that exists in our beautiful oceans. Hands down, many people’s absolute favorite fish to target. Whether it’s scratching for juveniles breeding in natural water systems (estuaries) or targeting 40-pound beasts offshore from the kayak or boat. Everything about them is impressive. They have an aggressive design and incredibly beautiful colors with ferocious feeding habits and a no-nonsense attitude. So what are the best lures for Giant Trevally?

Glad you asked! In this article, we’ll go over our top five best lures for Giant Trevally. If Mike Tyson were a fish, he certainly would have been a giant trevally. Displaying thug-like behavior, the G.T. is the undisputable gangster of the oceanic flats.

Best Lures for Giant Trevally

2. GT Fight Club Cubera Wood Popper

These lures are exciting. The Giant Trevally Fight Club Cubera Popper Lure is specifically designed to target Giant Trevally and Ulua. Made in Indonesia, they are custom designed Heru GT Lures for big game fishing. Many Hawaiian fishermen favor the Cubera when targeting giant trevally.

With minimum effort, the deep cup creates plenty of splash and disturbance. It is fully wired with premium gauge stainless steel, manufactured from solid wood, and is finished with hand-painted color and design.

3. Mxeol Handmade Wood Popper

Mxeol Saltwater Poppers are handmade out of wood. They have a weight of 4.4 oz, a length of 180mm, and are available in 2 colors.

A quality product that offers decent casting distance with splashing and floating action can be used for off-shore and surf fishing. It comes standard with a 300lb swivel and quality high carbon hooks. These poppers also work great for Giant Herring.

4. Tsunami Talkin Pencil Popper

The Tsunami Talkin Pencil Popper delivers an outstanding popping and splashing action and is a renowned topwater lure. Tumble free casts due to the big weight transfer balls and combined with a loud rattle make this option an attractive choice.

These lures also offer heavy-duty stainless steel split rings, tough, colorful finishes, and extra sharp VMC Cut Point treble hooks.

5. Thorn Topwater Plug GT Popper Surface Floating Wood Lure

Handcrafted from solid wood, these GT wooden lures are incredible. They feature thru-wire technology, the finest hardware including super sharp Thorn hooks. In addition to this, they are also primed, painted, and then sealed with a high-quality clear coat. They have been individually sealed for maximum durability. The Thorn Topwater GT plug is designed to zig-zag across the water to imitate a fleeing baitfish.

How to Fish the Best Lures for Giant Trevally

Trevally jack

Large surface lures, especially poppers and stick baits, are considered “the next best thing” when targeting large giant trevally. Poppers are extremely effective and are designed to displace surface water using a concave or even hollow nose.

Poppers are designed to imitate distressed insects, fish, or small animals on the surface depending on their size and design. In the case of giant trevally in open water, poppers are simulating wounded baitfish.

Giant trevally will happily snap up various types of baitfish, and even birds. With the correct retrieval action, the popper will emulate all of the above and will get you more fish.

Fishing a popper is relatively simple:

  • Cast the lure into the desired fishing area
  • Instantly reel up the “slack” until there is some tension between your popper and the rod tip (slackline is an additional line that may have come off the spool when casting)
  • Jerk the popper back towards you at small intervals (one, two even three seconds) and reel up the “slack” between each jerk
  • Once you achieve some rhythm, you will be able to focus more on the size of the splash you want to create and simultaneously vary your retrieval speed.
  • When it comes to retrieving your popper, the larger the fish are that you are targeting, the bigger your jerk
  • Line tension is one of the fundamentals when fishing, regardless of baits or species. The modern hook design (as fantastic as it is) allows the fish to potentially spit the bait if the tension is not maintained.

Tips and Trick for Catching Giant Trevally

When the weather is good, with decent water conditions, and the giant trevally are in the mood, they will eat anything. They have insatiable appetites. Because they are so quick, smaller predatory fish and baitfish don’t stand a chance.

There are, however, periods when bites are not so easy to come by. Here are a few pointers to hopefully assist you in times of need:

  •  Always try to replicate the baitfish that the giant trevally is feeding on. If I am fishing an estuary, I always take a six-foot cast net along. A couple of throws generally offer an indication as to what baitfish are around. When fishing offshore, dropping a sibiki rig while trawling will hopefully show you what fish are down there.
  •  When fishing dirty water, don’t go the obvious route of fishing a brightly colored lure. The more natural colors create a silhouette like a target for the giant trevally, instead of a strangely colored object. Sure, I have caught many fish with brightly colored lures in dirty water. But, my personal strike rate on more natural colors is significantly higher.

Additional Tips and Tricks

  • Giant trevally are more active in warmer water. If the weather is cold and the bites are quiet, it takes time to locate large shallow areas where the water could be warmer. The deeper you fish, the colder the water.
  • If you are retrieving your lure, and get a hit from a giant trevally that doesn’t hook up, don’t stop retrieving and jerking the lure. There is a very good chance that the fish will come back for a second or even a third attempt. I have seen many anglers miss the bite and subsequently think the chance of a fish has eluded them – always keep jerking.
  • When the fishing is slow, it’s always a good idea to constantly survey the water’s surface. If you see any action on the surface, i.e., small fish jumping or dorsal fins breaking the surface, try a popper or stick bait. Even a shallow swimming lure could work. If there is absolutely nothing happening on the surface, it might be worth your while to fish a deep sinking lure or a sizable jighead. They might just be feeding deep.

What Depth Can Catch Giant Trevally?

Another amazing thing about giant trevally is that they can be targeted in almost any depth. Anglers who prefer using fly, are able to target and successfully catch them in knee-deep water out on the wading flats.

Kayakers can get to the 100 ft mark, which also produces solid fish, and some giant trevally have been known to be caught at depths of up to 250 feet.

Where Do Giant Trevally Live?

The giant trevally is located throughout the warm tropical waters of the entire Indo-Pacific region. They are ranging from Hawaii in the east to South Africa in the west, stretching to Australia in the south, and all the way up to Japan in the north.

Author Note: They can be targeted all year round but are definitely more active in summer and the warmer months. The action does slow down in the winter and the cooler months. However, many have found that they catch larger fish during this period.

Paying attention to the giant trevally’s behavioral patterns and feeding habits will assist anglers when targeting these amazing animals. When targeting giants, my personal preference is to use live bait, but there are times when there simply is no bait around.

Fortunately for us fishermen, there are some amazing folk out there that are designing and manufacturing artificial lures. These are extremely realistic, technical, and durable. 

Best Lures for Giant Trevally Summary

catch of fish, trevally jack

In conclusion, surface lures like poppers and stick baits are the most popular lures available for targeting giant trevally. However, you cannot rely on these lures alone if you want to be considered an accomplished fisherman. Your tackle box is your arsenal against these beasts and should have some variety on offer if you want to come out on top.

Apart from poppers, stick baits, and other surface lures, you should try to include the following in your tackle box where possible:

Plastic Baits: Plastics come in an array of shapes, sizes, and colors. They are extremely versatile and can be fished in deep water, medium depth, or on the surface. They are also quite robust and extremely good value for money.

Deep Diving Lures: These lures are able to offer realistic swimming action and can get down deep if that where the fish are feeding. They’re also a great choice for Big Eye Tuna.

Spoons: Spoons are affordable and robust, one of the simplest forms of a lure, that offers casting distance and a silver flash that emulates many of the fish around when struck by sunlight.


We hope you enjoyed this article on the best lures for Giant Trevally. If you didn’t know already, we consider them one of the hardest fighting fish in the world. Giant Trevally also taste great. Good luck trying to catch one!

Happy Hunting!


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