Category Archives: Trevally (Talakitok)

Golden Trevally ( Gnathanodon speciosus )

spearfishing philippines fish species

Don from,, with a good size Golden Trevally he speared in Coron.

Common Name Golden Trevally

Local Name:  Garapeche, Malapandong Dilaw, Banlog (Tagalog); Badlon (Cebuano)

Max Size:  120 cm (15kgs)


Depth1 – 80 meters

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size Limit:  None

Recommended Bait/Lures:  Shrimp, Crabs, small fish, lures, small jigs

IUCN Red List Status:  (LC) Least Concern 

Trevally are abundant throughout the water of the Philippines.  Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish between the many different species.  That is not the case however with the Golden Trevally.  The bright golden color of this fish along with its and downward facing mouth make this fish easy to identify.  Its unique mouth helps it to root out crustaceans from the sea floor.  Though it may appear that crustaceans are this fish’s favorite snack, it is in reality an opportunistic feeder and will prey upon what small fish and invertebrates that it can find.

Larger Golden Trevally often school together.  Small juveniles can often be seen piloting, or swimming directly in front of larger fish and predators.  These fearless little golden swimmers also occasionally pilot in front of divers as well!  Small juveniles are also common in the aquarium trade.

Have you caught a Golden Trevally here in the Philippines?  If so send a message and share the experience 🙂

Yellow Spotted Trevally ( Carangoides fulvoguttatus )

trevally fishing cebu

Emmanuel’s 1.2kg Goldspot Trevally caught in Cebu

Common Name:    Trevally, Kingfish, Jack, Tarrum

Local Name Talakitok  (Tagalog);  Mamsa, Subad-subad (Cebuano)

Max Size:  120 cm (18 kgs)

BiodiversityMarine, Brackish, Reef Associated

Depth:  Surface  – 100 m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size Limit:   None

Recommended Bait/Lures:  small minnow lures, flies, and shrimp, crabs, squid

IUCN Red List Status:  Not Evaluated (NE)

This is a species of trevally found around the islands that can be distinguished by its golden colored spots.  This species like other trevally species can be found alone or in schools often patrolling the edge of reefs, rocks or grass beds.  They can grow quite large however the majority of these fish caught here tend to be around 1kg in size.  Anglers are likely to catch one of these trevallys when casting lures from the shore off rocks or beaches near reefs.

Like most trevally species these fish make great table fare.  They taste great when cooked a variety of ways including; grilled, deep friend, or cooked in one of many local saucy recipes.

trevally species philippines

Wayne’s Yellow Spotted Trevally from Romblon

Silver Pompano ( Trachinotus baillonii )

Trachinotus baillonii

Expert Angler and Fishing Guide Joseph G. with his Dart caught on Grande Is. in Subic.

Common Name:    Pompano, Dart, Swallowtail

Local Name Pampano, Salay-salay, Talakitok  (Tagalog);  Uruk (Cebuano)

Max Size:  60 cm (1.5 kgs)

BiodiversityMarine, Brackish, Reef Associated

Depth:  Surface  – ?? m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size Limit:   None

Recommended Bait/Lures:  small minnow lures, flies, and shrimp

IUCN Red List Status:  Not Evaluated (NE)

This species of Pompano is a member of the Carangidae family of jacks and pompanos.  It is found around the Philippines often close to shore near reefs, lagoons, and along sandy beaches.  These fish travel in pairs or small groups and often feed near the surface on small fish.

Like other jacks and pompanos this species makes great table fare.  The elongated shape of this species along with its small spots on the sides help identify the fish.

Joseph caught the fish above on a small lure while casting from Grande Island near Subic.

Amberjack ( Seriola dumerili )

deepwater jigging philippines

Nino’s 7.55kg amberjack caught jigging

Common Name:   Amberjack, Yellowtail, Rock Salmon

Local Name:   Talakitok, Tonto (Tagalog);  Marang, Dorado  (Cebuano)

Max Size:  190 cm (80.2kgs)

Biodiversity: Marine, Reef-Associated

Depth:  1 – 360 m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size Limit:  18 inches

Recommended Bait/Lures:  Fish, Squid, Jigs

IUCN Red List Status:  Not Evaluated (NE)

This is one of the primary targets of deep water fishermen in the Philippines, these fish are plentiful around the country though they are somewhat difficult to target because of the depth they are usually found.  Sport fishermen target them with heavy deepwater jigs while the traditional way to catch these involves using a large stone as a weight.

amberjack philippines

Ram’s 7kg Amberjack caught jigging

Diamond Trevally ( Alectis indica )

Alectis indica

Common Name: Indian Threadfish

Local Name: Talakitok (Tagalog), Mamsa, Salmin Salmin (Cebuano)

Max Size165 cm ( 25 kgs )

Biodiversity: Marine, Brackish, Reef Associated, Endemic

Depth: 20 – 100m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

This is another species of trevally that can be found in coastal waters here in the Philippines.  It is distinguished by its odd angular body and shiny appearance.  These fish are often found in schools over coral reefs and feed mainly on fish, squid and crustaceans.  The fish in the picture above was caught by Mr. Archival on live shrimp at the Marcelo Fernan Bridge in Mandaue, Cebu.

trevally species philippines

Diamond Trevally caught in Dumaguete

Bigeye Trevally ( Caranx sexfasciatus )



Common Name: Jack, Trevally, Bigeye,

Local Name: Talakitok (Tagalog), Mahinlo (Cebuano)

Max Size120 cm (commonly 60 cm)

Biodiversity: Marine, Brackish, Freshwater, Reef Associated, Endemic,

Depth: 0 – 146 meters

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

This is a species that can be found all over the islands.  This fish is also known as Bigeye Jack or Dusky Jack in English, Talakitok in Tagalog, and Mahinlo in Cebuano.  It can grow up to 18kgs though it is more common to  catch the smaller juveniles around reefs and estuaries.  These fish school and so are great fun to catch in numbers when they are feeding.  This species is know to feed primarily at night or at dawn or dusk.  They can be taken on a variety of lures and bait .  For lures, choose something that mimics an injured fish or shrimp, and for bait live shrimp works well.

The fish pictured above was one of two bigeyes caught on Shell Island, Cebu while fishing a Rapala X-Rap 10.

Caranx sexfasciatus

Island Trevally ( Carangoides orthogrammus )


Common Name: Yellow Spotted Trevally, Island Jack, Thicklip Trevally, False Bluefin Trevally

Local Name: Talakitok (Tagalog), Mamsa (Bisaya)

Max Size:  75 cm ( 6.6 kgs )

Biodiversity: Marine, Reef Associated, Endemic, Oceanodromous

Depth:  3 – 170 m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size Limit: 10 inches

Here is a Trevally or Talakitok (known in Bisaya as Mamsa) caught by Sharptooth while fishing live shrimp on the bottom.  This is another example of the variety of trevally species which can be caught here in the Philippines.

Giant Trevally ( Caranx ignobilis )

Giant Trevally Fishing

Good Sized GT caught in Cebu City

Common Name: GT, Giant Trevally, 

Local NameTalakitok (Tagalog), Mamsa (Cebuano)

Max Size170 cm (80 kgs)

Biodiversity: Marine, Brackish, Freshwater, Reef Associated, Endemic,

Depth: 0 –100 meters

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

This species also known as GT, is common through out the country.  In Filipino this species is called Talakitok and the Bisaya speaking people call these fish Mamsa.  It is the largest of the Trevally species growing to a maximum weight of around 80kgs.  Juveniles can be caught a variety of places from reefs, to estuaries, sandy bottom shorelines. The larger adults are more common around deeper reefs, atolls or sea walls.  This species can also be caught in Lake Taal in Batangas which was once connected to the ocean via a river.

Angler target these species in a variety of ways which include trolling, bottom fishing, jigging, popping and even bait fishing.  The fish in the picture below is a nice GT caught by Biboy in Palawan while Popping.

Caranx ignobilis

Popping for GT in Palawan

The larger GT are quite powerful and can quite easily destroy fishing gear that is not up for the challenge.  For anglers targeting this species be sure you are using the right gear for the job.

The Taal Lake GT Featured on the Philippine 50 Peso Bill

The Taal Lake GT Featured on the Philippine 50 Peso Bill

In recent years the Bankgo Sentral Ng Pilipinas (Central Bank of the Philippines) has featured the Giant Trevally of Lake Taal on their 50 Peso Bill.  This is part of the move to highlight unique flora, fauna, and geographic features of the Philippines in efforts to conserve and increase public awareness.  Hopefully the unique freshwater GT of Taal will remain a permanent feature of the lake’s ecosystem.

Longrakered Trevally ( Ulua mentalis )

Talakitok Subic fishing

Serbi’s Talakitok From Subic

Common Name:   Jack, Trevally, Kingfish,

Local Name  Talakitok, Piaka (Tagalog),  Samin-Samin, Talakitok (Cebuano)

Max Size:   100 cm

Biodiversity: Marine, Reef-Associated,

Depth:  1 – 50+ m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size LimitNone

Recommended Bait:  Shrimp, Fish, Squid;

IUCN Red List Status:  Not Evaluated (NE)

Here is a Longrakered Trevally or Cale Trevally caught by Serbi near Subic Bay while trolling some Rapalas.  This is one of many species of fish known here in the Philippines as Talakitok (in Tagalog) or Mamsa (in Cebuano).  These fish patrol reef edges all over around the country.

Shadow Trevally ( Carangoides dinema )

Carangoides dinema

JR’s Talakitok from Laiya

Here is a nice sized Talakitok or trevally caught by JR in Laiya, Batangas while fishing with renowned captain and fisherman Mang Roger.  Trevally are normally caught around the reefs of Laiya on live shrimp.  I believe this is a shadow trevally.  This is one of the many species of reef associated fish that can be caught here in the Philippines.