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Josh Dunn

If there's one thing that excites an angler about casting plastics in and around structure it has to be trevally. All species of trevally are well known for their powerful fight, making them an excellent sportfish on light tackle! One of my favourite techniques for these brutes of the salt is working plastics and surface poppers along jetties, along with rock and retaining walls.

The Gear

I like to keep my gear rather heavy for targeting trevally, or any sort of pelagic species: A Shimano Raider 3-6kg matched with a Shimano Sustain 3000 size reel, spooled with 20lb Super PE braid. Leader will depend on where you're fishing. If they are going to easily bust you off on rocks or pylons, use 15-20lb fluorocarbon leader and if you're in open water use 12-15lb+. It comes down to common sense and personal preference with the gear you are using and if you have two set ups, fish one heavy and if they aren't biting downgrade to a lighter set up. Vary the lures depending on time of the day, water quality and desired fishing location.

Trevally follow the bait, so finding a lure that they want to eat can be the hard part and I tend to change up plastics if one isn't working. Definitely my utmost favourite plastic would be a ZMan 4" DieZel MinnowZ in Opening Night colour. This lure swims great and looks very similar to a baitfish, with flashes of silver throughout the lure. In saying that, other colours and models in the ZMan range will work better on some days. Remember to change things up regularly, especially the weight of the jighead, until you find what the fish want.

Fishing often comes down to experience, but the most experienced anglers will still have their bad days. Confidence is one thing I stick by in my fishing and it is one of those one percenters that can turn a bad day into a good day. If you aren't confident in your fishing style or where you're fishing then change it up. Lack of confidence will result in not putting your full potential into that situation, which can result in a bad day on the fishing scene.

ZMan 3" MinnowZ in Calico Candy and Pearl Blue Glimmer colours, along with ZMan 3.75" StreakZ in Smokey Shad and Watermelon Red colours, are just a few more in the range that work a treat on trevally. By-catch will vary, including plenty of mangrove jacks in my part of the country as you will be fishing rock walls and jetties where jacks will sit and ambush bait. Flathead, tailor and even a game bream will try and eat your lure, moving at speeds where bream shouldn't be eating lures... but they still do!

Remember that there are many species of trevally, all known for their powerful fights, but they often feed differently, on different tides, eating a variety of foods, at varying times of the year, etc. Some will feed along the bottom, in search of small crustaceans. Others will feed on the surface, absolutely annihilating bait, so finding a lure that works well for that species is vital. Do some research and watch some videos on how to catch the trevally you're after!

Where are the fish?

A great tactic is sounding up structure or bait on your sounder and dropping down a plastic. Drifting over the bait is a good option, once you've found where they are congregating. This could be around bridge pylons, rock walls, broken ground, trees, etc. Don't be surprised though if you find bait or a school of trevally in the middle of nowhere, for example in the middle of a canals system. I've found quite often that a few fish will sit in the open for various reasons; bait, water temperature and so on.

Bridge pylons are definitely up there with my go-to structure. Sit at the back of the pylons, with your vessel facing into the current and the bow of your boat in line with the first pylon. Get a long cast in, about 2-3 metres past the last pylon. Why cast 2-3 metres past and not to the actual pylon? If the current is running quite strong your plastic will drift a few metres before it hits the bottom. So casting an extra few metres further than the pylon will get your plastic to hit the bottom around that last pylon.

Once the plastic is on the bottom I like to use two different techniques, normally one on the first cast and the other one on the second. Firstly the 'burn and kill', where you burn your lure through the water with about four quick winds of your reel, followed by a sudden pause to allow the lure to sink back to the bottom, repeating until the lure is back at the boat.

The second retrieve involves simply hopping the plastic erratically, twice off the bottom, before lowering the rod tip and allowing the lure to hit the bottom. Again, repeat until your plastic is back at the boat, or in a fish's mouth in the net! My favourite and most effective technique would be the second retrieve.

Trevally are super fun on spin gear, especially with their exhilarating surface hit and they are always able to burn some line! Fishing for them with plastics and a surface lure is a productive way of fishing, learning the basics and doing some research will definitely help.

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