The Far Side of Paradise

The Far Side of Paradise

Chasing giant trevally in the Seychelles

  • By: Will Rice

Giant trevally are the heavyweights of the flats; they will test both your skills and your gear.

I am working my way up the edge of a shallow channel that cuts through a white sand flat and stretches farther than I can see. Behind me is a line of boiling surf where the Indian Ocean crashes onto the edge of the atoll. Earlier in the afternoon, I pulled two nice bonefish from this spot, but now the light is low, and I have little confidence in seeing another. Suddenly, 40 yards away, the water swirls and a massive blunt-nose head charges across the shallows, spray flying. Another swirl and it dawns on me: Something just died.

I drop the bonefish rod,trusting the tip to float high enough to be spotted, and unclip the 12-weight from my backpack, where it has been hampering my casting stroke for the past few days. I strip line from my reel and rush toward the giant trevally, which is still chasing the baitfish. The fish is just at the edge of my casting range and I buck-fever the cast. The big streamer falls a good 20 feet short, but before I can pick up and cast again, the 50-pound predator turns and charges the fly.

The fish engulfs the fly and as it turns toward deeper water I set the hook. I immediately push the drag to maximum, but the reel handle still spins to a blur as the backing melts off the spool. A few minutes later I reel up my backing (my line is gone, a victim of the fish). I've just been smoked by a giant trevally.