Sponsored by Alphonse Fishing Company
Tip Number 1: Location Location Location
If you are fortunate enough to target Trevally on the flats, first and foremost, congratulations you make up a very small percentage of man-kind.
The Giant Trevally is in the Jack family, and is distributed throughout the Indo-Pacific region. Not being familiar with solid DIY options, in my opinion, your best bet at getting on a fish will be through a lodge. I have been very fortunate to fish for GT’s on Christmas Island, and in the Seychelles with Alphonse Fishing Company. The Christmas Island fishery is unfortunately not what it used to be, due to anglers chumming and teasing for fish. On the other hand, Alphonse Fishing Co offers some of the best GT fishing on the planet.
GT’s are widely distributed throughout the tropical and subtropical waters of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. These fish hunt shallow waters along the coasts of three continents and many hundreds of smaller islands. Save your money, because most legitimate GT operations are a bit pricey.
Tip Number 2: Have the Right Gear
Fighting GT’s on the fly is no joke… You need to be prepared with the right leaders, fly line, and rod/reel combo. If you are targeting big GT’s, go as big as you can. I am talking 12 weight rods with large arbor reels that can take a beating and have a really strong drag system. You want as much backing as you can fit, 300 yards should do the trick. 130 lb leaders to avoid being cut on the reef or cut on the small GT teeth. We fished Loop rods and reels in the Seychelles and in Christmas island the gear held up great!
Tip Number 3: Take advantage of your opportunities
Chasing a big predatory fish on the flats is one of the most thrilling experiences an angler can have. Just make sure you take advantage of the shots you get. You may only have one cast at a cruising fish for an entire day or even an entire week. You need to be focused and prepared to send out a nice smooth cast. You want to lead the fish by several feet and let the fly sink slightly lower into the water column. Once you think the fly is close enough for the fish to see, long quick strips should get the fish’s attention.
Tip Number 4: Strip Set
One of the most common mistakes seen on the saltwater flats are anglers “Trout Setting” on saltwater fish. (I have been there plenty of times…) This is one of the best ways to lose a GT on the flats. Your hook set is absolutely crucial when it comes to landing a good fish. Long hard pulls into the fish to ensure a proper hook set is extremely important. Once the fish starts to run, you have lost your chance at a good hook set, now it’s time to hold on, and hope the hook is in good!
Tip Number 5: Break the fish’s spirit
A common expression used on the GT flats is “You need to break the fish’s spirit as fast as you can”. When you hook up to a big GT it will feel like hooking into a car accelerating onto a highway. You need to put on the breaks as fast as you can. Tighten the drag system with all your might and work the fish in as fast and as hard as you can. 130LB test will be strong enough to stop the fish, but if they take you into the coral you are done.
Photos and words by Jared Zissu, Flylords Founder.
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