Category: Medium Risk
GOLD-SPOTTED trevally are quite a common catch along our coastline from the 26th Parallel northwards. Gold-spots, as they are often called, frequent much the same locations as the better recognised giant and golden trevallies and though they would rarely be a target species, they are a fine fighting fish all the same. Gold-spots are spread right across the entire Indian Ocean from Somalia to the Bay of Bengal.
Identifying gold-spots is not too difficult even though they do tend to mix with other trevallies. They have a relatively elongate shape and carry a number of distinctive golden spots along their sides and back. At times they are confused with bludger trevally, in which the eyes are closer to the level of the mouth.
The Australian record gold-spot was taken in Exmouth in 1988 and weighed in at 12.6 kilos, which is as big as they are reported to grow. They are more commonly encountered around 5-7 kilos. International records show that they can reach 18 kilos, which would be a solid workout for anybody.
Gold-spots can be found from Cape Leeuwin northwards. They are mainly encountered by anglers in shallow coastal waters but they do range out into depths of 100 metres.
Breeding and migration
Unfortunately little is known about either the breeding habits or migration of this species. They are often found in large schools in shallow coral reef country.
There are no indications of any serious stock depletions along the West Australian coastline, perhaps because they are not known for their eating qualities and are rarely targeted.
Tackle and bait
Gold-spotted trevally are strong fighters but 6kg line will do the job most times, except when fishing particularly reefy country. Gold-spots will take most baits and just about any lure presented at the right time. Berleying will bring them in but you need to be astute with the type and quantity of berley to avoid the resident shark populations that share their habitat.
Gold-spots are pretty much like other trevally in that they like to be close to structure. At times you will need to get your bait or lure very close to coral bommies, pylons and the like to elicit a strike. Trolling bibbed and bibless minnows around structure and drop-offs should provide you with some action on gold-spots, along with other resident species which share their terrain. Casting chrome slices or lead-head jigs, or deep jigging near structure, also works well if you’re a lure person.
References: The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia by Gerry Allen and Roger Swainston.