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Australia's best flyfishing
Golden Trevally gnathanodon speciosus
aka: Goldie, Golden

 Photo: © Paul Dolan

A flats-fish with attitude and enormous appeal to the fly angler. Tailing big goldens on the flats is sight-fishing at it's best and goldens have earned their respect into the hearts of Aussie fly fishing culture.

And for good reason too, they like to feed in shallow water, using their large soft rubbery mouths to hoover up grubs, prawns and yummy tidbits out of the sand which makes them a prime flats target, both while wading and from a boat.


Bigger goldens can be found offshore in deeper water, around bommies, coral patches and drop-offs.

They are hungry predators and will usually eat a well presented fly.

Distribution: Northern half of Australia, sometimes venturing into southern WA

Average Size: 4 - 8kg, can get to 18kg +


Tackle and methods for Golden Trevally

What tackle to use
For flats fishing a 9 - 10wt outfit, intermediate lines with 9 - 12ft fluorocarbon leader, large arbour reel holding plenty of backing.

For offshore the same setup but using a quick sinking line or shooting head.

What flies to use
Clousers; Crab fly; Deceiver; Prawn imitations; Poppers

Fishing strategy
On the flats a yellow over white clouser matches the small whiting they love. But crabs, shrimps, deceivers and most flies can also work. Size 1/0 to 2/0 is about right. Approach cautiously when up on the flats - they can be tailing or cruising - but when they are up on the flats and undisturbed they are in eating mode and are very alert.

Present the fly ahead of the fish and begin stripping as the fish gets closer. Sometimes they can be found in the presence of rays so keep an eye out for that too. They have a soft mouth so treat with utmost respect while releasing.

While casting to feeding fish on the flats, a minimum number of false casts with an accurate presentation of the fly is very important. Once spooked, they will make their way off the flat and not eat. If you're lucky you may get multiple shots at the same fish, it really depends where you are.

Target Golden Trevally in the following locations:

Target Golden Trevally with the following guides:

Australian Flyfishing Outfitters

Barra Lodge Arnhemland

Carpentaria Seafaris

Exmouth Fly Fishing

Fish Philliskirk

Gavin Platz

Mark Bargenquast

Melville Island Lodge

One Tree Beach

Paul Dolan

Wilderness Island
Links to more information

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