Scott’s Species – Goldspot trevally – a much-loved sportfish of the north

Carangoides fulvoguttatus

Eating: 3 stars

ID: Elongated shape, spots along sides.

I don’t rate goldspot trevally quite as highly as goldens, which are one of my favourite sportfish to catch. It’s hard to quantify why, given they fight pretty similarly and are usually caught using the same techniques.

Maybe it’s because goldens just look that little bit nicer, and are also often found cruising shallow flats, where goldspots are more of an offshore target. Whatever the reason, it doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy catching goldspots.

Goldspots absolutely love smashing jigs, as Michael Sammut found out up north.

While they are largely a northern species usually found from Kalbarri north, they are also a bit of a current wanderer, and every year a few big ones seem to show up in the waters around Rottnest Island.

Growing to 13kg, they really come into their own in Pilbara waters and our annual trips to the Mackerel Islands normally see us catching loads of goldspots, usually in depths of 10-20m.

We’ve generally encountered them in shallowish water out to around 50m. We have also caught them from the shore around Steep Point. I can’t say I’ve caught anything up around 13kg, but certainly fish to around 10kg aren’t hard to find.

A shallow water goldspot caught via the Halco Slidog for Glenn Edwards.

On our trip the Mackerel Islands this year goldspots were everywhere, hunting down balls of bait in the shallows. We had a ball casting at bust-ups and hooking big goldspots in a few metres of water. In that environment they fight very impressively and it was a heck of a lot of fun. We also found them with groups of golden trevally, hoovering through floating weed that contained smallfish, crabs and prawns.

I’ve never found them too fussy and most artificials and baits will work on goldspots when they are around. They seem particularly partial to shiny things and metal jigs are extremely effective in deepish water. Lead-head jigs are also very effective on them. These days we get most of ours on stickbaits cast in shallowish water, or on soft plastic vibes such as Zerek Fish Traps.

Goldspots love to hang around structure and can often be found in big numbers in these areas. They hit hard and fight strongly, but unless you are fishing in really gnarly territory or very close to structure they don’t usually fight too dirty. I like to catch them on 7-9kg spinning gear, which enables me to enjoy their fighting qualities.

When goldspot are bustling up on the surface, poppers make for some exciting fishing.

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