Bluefin Trevally Fly Fishing

The Bluefin Trevally is considered by many anglers as the most beautiful fish in the Carangidae family for its unique mix of colours and a variety of shades from blue to yellow. Fly saltwater anglers queue up to enjoy the power of the Bluefin trevally’s fighting.

Fisherman with his catch, a bluefin trevally
A bluefin trevally being released
Bluefin trevally caught

The bluefin trevally (Caranx melampygus) has an oblong body with a moderately steep forehead. The overall body colour is dark, dusky green with electric blue markings, especially along the dorsal fin base and the rear, straight region of the lateral line. The flanks and the dorsal surface are densely patterned with small, grey to black spots, which are frequently iridescent blue. The fins are translucent or dusky, except for the dorsal and anal fins, which are brilliant blue, while the pectoral fins are yellow. The these trevallies are also known as the Bluefin jack, blue ula, or spotted trevally.

Key Facts About Bluefin Trevally

bluefin Trevally average-length

Bluefin Trevally Average Length

60 cm

bluefin trevally weight

Bluefin Trevally Average Weight

3 – 7 kg

bluefin trevally diet

Bluefin TrevallyDiet


bluefin trevally timetogrow

Bluefin Trevally Time To Maturity

2 years

bluefin trevally average age

Bluefin Trevally Average Age

4 years 

A Bluefin Trevally swimming in the Indian Ocean

The Search For Bluefin Trevally

This beautiful saltwater fish has a great affinity for coral reefs and rocky regions, where they usually hunts about a meter above the reef in small groups. Bluefin cover large areas in search of prey, and feed on smaller fish, shrimp, mantis shrimp, squid, and a variety of crabs. They have a habit of following larger fish, like GT, which drive out hidden prey.

Best Bluefin Trevally Flies

Alphlexo Crab Fly

Alphlexo Crab fly is a very realistic imitation of a real crab. It’s a mesh body with a set of 6 legs made of micro chenille and a little bit weighted to be sure it sinks better and faster. Generally, we want to use it in olive, tan, white, or brown to match the colour of the bottom of the habitat that we are fishing in.


On sizes 1/0 – 3/0, this fly imitates a swimming shrimp or a baitfish. We want this fly to be a bit heavier, so we tie it with a dumbbell or even tungsten eyes. Chartreuse over white, tan-white, blue-white, or all brown work well. Cast the fly, let it sink a bit, and then strip fast but long strong strips. 


Bluefin Trevally prey on a large variety of food; but, they love to eat smaller baitfish that keep in tight shoals. A Deceiver pattern imitates these small fish, which is why it is so effective. It works best if it is lightly dressed, i.e., tied sparsely and stripped through the water as fast as possible.

Best Bluefin Trevally Rod Set Up

Fly fishing is an art form that not everyone can master. It takes skill, patience, determination, and knowledge. The right rod will take you a lot closer to landing the catch. Bluefin trevally is the smaller cousin of the much larger giant trevally; however, they also deserve their fair share of respect as they are exceptionally powerful. Having a fast action rod to get the fly out in front of the fish is important and having enough pulling power in the rod to keep them away from going into the coral reefs is essential. The best fly fishing rods in terms of weight to target this species will therefore be 10 to 11-weight rods.


Fisherman with blue jacket with his a Bluefin Trevally

Best Tides For Bluefin Trevally

Pushing tides, especially the beginning of the push during a spring tide, is often a perfect time to fish for these fish in the surf. On the low tide, all of the prey, such as mullet, brassy trevally, and bonefish, are waiting at the edge of the lagoon or outside the reef to get back onto the flats. When the push begins, the fish start to move with the predators like these fish in pursuit, so be ready!

The best weather conditions for sight fishing these blue hunters are sunny days with good light and slight to moderate wind. Water quality is crucial as bluefin trevally prefers cool, clear water, another reason for them being seen during the cold pushing tide.

Bluefin Trevally
The blue and green scales of a Bluefin Trevally
The blue and green scales of a Bluefin Trevally
A large bluefin trevally

Making The Catch

“A stunning setting for a breath-taking experience. It was everything that I hoped for.” – James Lowe. And remember, once the fish swims away and your adrenaline stops pumping, you’ll be left with a great memory and hopefully a fantastic photo.

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