Giant Trevally (GT), known in SA as kingfish, are one of the biggest fish that you can expect to hook up to when casting plugs, either from the beach or from a boat. They are not only big, but brutally powerful and aggressive. Add to this the fact that they are dirty fighters always looking for a bit of structure to cut your line off on and you have a serious challenge on your hands. For this reason most fishermen have sleepless nights thinking about doing battle with this worthy adversary.
One of the hardest fighting game fish fishermen tangle with on the East coast of Africa is the Giant kingfish (Caranx ignoblis). These brawlers of the ocean are often hooked while trolling over reef, or along reef edges. One of the signature trademarks of a giant kingfish is a brief, hard tussle then sudden slack line with a rough, abraided end. These tough fish are dirty fighters that are not above diving into caves, swimming over ledges, round pinnacles, anything to cut the line off. Most big kingfish hooked close to reef are lost this way.
OTHER NAMES: Trevally, Jack.
Kingfish are found in warmer tropical waters along our coastline. Some species venture as far south as the Eastern Cape, but they are more regularly encountered further North. The Zululand coast and Mozambique are the best areas to target kingfish. Some good specimens are taken on the Natal South coast each year during the annual sardine run. Most species do not enter estuaries, but giant kingfish do so fairly regularly. Certain estuaries suit them better and often have kingfish in them. Estuaries such as Kosi bay, Durban harbour and some Transkei rivers are excellent areas to find kingfish. Kingfish often enter shallow water to feed, especially during the early morning and late afternoon, as well as at night. Best conditions for spinning for kingfish are during high spring tides in the late afternoon or early morning, especially when the sea is a bit rough. Kingfish prefer lots of white water and turbulence.
Juvenile GT's can be a lot of fun to target on light tackle, these fish are just as hard fighting as the big tackle busters, and when the right tackle is used, can be just as challenging to land. I am talking about GT's under 5kg's here, which often move into estuaries, harbours and shallow coastal waters.