How to catch silver trevally

Silver trevally are found in southern Australia’s temperate waters from New South Wales to Western Australia, including Tasmania.

These are a somewhat different fish from the tropical trevally species found across northern Australia.

There are four similar species of silver trevally, the main two being Pseudocaranx georgianus and Pseudocaranx dentex, with P. dentex found in the Lord Howe Island region in Australian waters.

The other two species are Pseudocaranx wrighti (skipjack trevally) and Pseudocaranx dinjerra.

The species most Aussie fishos catch is Pseudocaranx georgianus, which goes by the name silver trevally, or skippy in Western Australia.

These fish grow to 10kg but are usually caught at much smaller sizes.

Coastal silver trevally are for the most part juveniles, with larger fish prefering deeper water.

The largest fish are found offshore, where commercial fishermen target them in 80 to 100 metres of water.

Smaller fish are commonly accessible to landbased fishos in river estuaries, off rock groynes, jetties and wharves.

They are also caught in the surf.

These fish sometimes forms large schools over reefs, including artificial reefs and around man-made structure such as jetty pylons.

They also travel singly and in small groups.

Silver trevally are most easily caught using berley to bring them around.

They have good eyesight and will at times refuse baited hooks in the berley stream, when your only choice will be to fish lighter or find a more desirable bait.

Silver trevally will take small lures when they are feeding aggressively.

They have soft mouths and fight hard, so be careful to not pull the hooks.

To find them, anchor your boat over sand/weed patches or reef and use berley to attract them.

Berley can also work well from jetties.

Spots that have current rips are also worth trying.

Most baits can catch silver trevally, including peeled prawns, gar fillets, pilchard pieces, bluebait or whitebait.

Ideally, drift baits out without a sinker.

If the fish look at the bait but refuse, use lighter line and try changing baits.

Usually, the fishing is better during bigger tides.

Larger silver trevally are good to eat but small fish are bony. Bleed them on capture for best eating quality.

Fishing tackle for silver trevally

Silver trevally can be caught by casting small chrome lures and soft plastics, but bait fishing is the usual method.

A 6kg spin outfit is ideal. See eBay listings for light spin combos here.

Use a hard nylon leader to help prevent line abrasion on the fish’s rough tails, but fish lighter if the fish won’t bite.

Try to avoid using a sinker or float, and just drift baits out.

If required, use the smallest sinker possible under the conditions, or even just a split shot pinched onto the line. See eBay split shot listings here.

Fine gauge long shank hooks of around Size 6-8 are ideal for the bait fishing. See eBay hook listings here.

Floats are useful for suspending a bait as silver trevally often feed near the surface. Polystyrene floats are slid or clipped onto the line and a stopper is placed above the float to set the depth a bait is fished. See eBay float listings here.

Small quill style floats are useful when fish are shy. See eBay’s quill float listings here. Clear bubble floats also work, see eBay bubble float listings here.

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