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Giant Trevally: Jack on Steroids

You know what they say, big bait, big fish.

The giant trevally of the shorelines in the Indian and Pacific oceans have been known to eat fledgling terns.

While jack crevalle (Caranx hippos) can be a fun fight, there's something else out there that might get your blood pumping even more. There's been a video clip circling from the BBC original, Blue Planet 2. It features the close relative of our own native jack crevalle, the giant trevally (Caranx ignobilis).

They both belong to the same genus, Caranx, which also includes blue runner, horse-eye jack, and other jacks and trevallies. While there are 18 currently recognized species in this genus, the giant trevally tops all of them in size. Not only are they big, but they match their size with strength. They are known to be aggressive eaters and powerful fighters, when you are lucky enough to find them at the end of your rod.

Giant trevallies, or GTs, have been known to eat anything that might cross their path. Their meals can include fish, birds, eels, lobsters, turtles and other creatures. Juvenile dolphins have reportedly been found within the stomachs of larger giant trevally.

Caranx ignobilis are surprisingly intuitive when it comes to feeding. They can hunt alone or in schools. GT can also be found foraging around sharks, seals and other ocean predators. For example, the trevally will swim close by a monk seal, and when the seal stops to forage, the trevally positions its mouth just inches away from the seal. If a prey item is disturbed, the trevally will attempt to steal the prey from the seal, a behavior which has been observed near the Hawaiian Islands. Generally, these fish are considered apex predators in their relative habitats.

A 160 pound, 7 ounce giant trevally was caught in May of 2006 near Tokara, Japan. Photo courtesy of IFGA

The IGFA all-tackle record giant trevally weighed in at a whopping 160+ pounds. Surprisingly enough, Keiki Hamasaki, of Kagoshima, Japan, was casting a plug from the shore with 130-pound tackle when the record trevally was caught. Keep in mind, that's bigger than the largest amberjack ever landed, and is more than double the size of the largest jack crevalle ever recorded by the IGFA.

Florida anglers, unfortunately, will have to venture a little off the beaten path to get to one. According to wikipedia, "The giant trevally is distributed throughout the tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific region, with a range stretching from South Africa in the west to Hawaii in the east, including Japan in the north and Australia in the south. Two were documented in the eastern tropical Pacific in the 2010s (one captured off Panama and another sighted at the Galápagos), but it remains to be seen if the species will become established there."

Giant trevally are mostly found in the southern hemisphere, but can also be found all the way up to the Hawaiian Islands and Japan. Photo courtesy of wikipedia.

If you spent your last dime getting to GT waters, you can always craft your own lure like the YouTube fly fisherman, Fish The Swing, on his trip to the Farquhar Atoll in the Seychelles, off the eastern coast of Africa. Although, this is nowhere near your average fly, if it works, it works! Check out this eat from a Seychelles GT here.

To learn more about this fish, catch BBC's Blue Planet 2 which is set to premiere October 28th, 2017. You can also check out the giant trevally wiki page.

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