Catching the Giant Trevally at Kosi Bay

I’ve been fishing the northern part of KwaZuluNatal since I can remember. However, for the last couple of years, I’ve mainly been targeting GTs (Giant Trevally), both from the shore and from boats – two different ball games.

Giant Trevally Kosi Bay Fly Fishing South Africa

GTs are on the bucket list of almost any enthusiastic local or international angler. They are also targeted by many fly-fishermen. This feisty fish is known as the bully of the reefs for a good reason. If you have caught one before, whether a juvenile or a beast of 50 kg+, you will be hooked for life!

I recently had the chance to fish the Kosi Bay area, targeting GTs, of course. I managed to fool a 103cm GT on a 6” paddle tail. The moment I saw the fish take the paddle tail in front of my feet, I knew it would be a daunting task to land it. When I set the hook, it took off with lightning speed and headed straight for the reef, like they typically do.

I was fishing PE 3 (±40 lb) Gosen Ultra Tough with 60 lb Gosen fluorocarbon leader – not the heaviest set-up but certainly in the range to land this fish. It took about 80 m on the first run. The new Savage Gear SGS8 6000 handled the fish extremely well, and the drag was as smooth as butter. It then sat in the stream just behind the reef. I realized that if I were to land it, I had to stop it right away. I tightened the drag a little and started to pull. At first, the GT did not want to move at all.

This is where the Penn Battalion 10’6 with its heavy backbone made quick work of getting the fish over the ledge. It then ran with the line again, luckily this time into the bay, which meant it was now level playing ground. I started to put a lot more pressure on the fish. A few minutes later, it was close to shore. Now I had to concentrate on landing it without harming it in the process. Each time a new wave came in, I pulled on the GT to get it over the ledge. Relief washed over me when I finally managed to land it. We placed it in a nearby pool to keep it wet. After tagging and measuring it and a few quick photos, it was released to fight another day.

To catch a fish like this is a privilege indeed – you need to take in every moment. Please also remember to practice catch and release. GTs are territorial and tend to stay in the same areas.

on 0