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Can You Eat Giant Trevally?

Giant trevally fish are considered the bullies of the ocean, and when you catch one, you’ll know it.

They regularly weigh in at 50 pounds or more and prize catches will reach 150 pounds! A fish this size surely must yield a ton of meat, so can you eat giant trevally?

giant trevally swimming

After you’ve worked so hard to reel one of these incredible creatures in, you certainly can serve it up on a plate if you wish.

Are Giant Trevally Edible?

Most fishermen will tell you that while you can eat giant trevally, there are probably a dozen other fish in the same waters that would make for a better meal.

giant trevally fish swimming underwater

However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give a giant trevally a try, especially since you’ll have a lot of meat to experiment with, even if you catch one of the smaller ones.

In fact, the smaller ones will typically taste better than the larger ones anyway.

What is a Giant Trevally?

To begin with, there are numerous types of trevally fish, of which the giant trevally is the largest (which makes sense given its name).

man holding giant trevally with a lure in its mouth

However, all trevally fish vary in size, color, and flavor. They all love warm water and have a reputation as strong fighters, especially when they’re on the business end of a hook.

For this reason, most trevally, and giant trevally, in particular, are considered more of a sportfish than a fish for eating.

What Does Giant Trevally Taste Like?

These fish are fairly oily, but they do have firm, dense meat that can hold up to all types of culinary preparations.

person cooking giant trevally

Its flavor is generally mild, but some of the older, larger giant trevally can taste fishier than the younger, smaller fish. As long as you don’t overcook it, the meat will be tender and flaky, but when it’s overcooked, it can get tough and rubbery.

For this reason, lightly grilled giant trevally is a common preparation.

Eating Giant Trevally Raw

You can eat giant trevally fish raw, but other types of trevally are preferred because they tend to be sweeter in flavor than the giant trevally variety.

However, the firmness of the giant trevally meat makes it a good candidate for both sushi and sashimi, since it holds up well when chunked.

raw fillet of giant trevally

In Hawaii, where you’ll find some of the biggest giant trevally fish in the world, you may see it served as a raw protein in a poke bowl.

Fish Poisoning

As with many other large ocean fish, giant trevally is prone to carrying the ciguatera toxin, which can cause illness in humans.

You can’t tell if a fish has ciguatera by examining it, and it cannot be removed from a fish through cooking or freezing.

giant trevally and other fish swimming

If you ingest a fish that has ciguatera, you can expect to have symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, numbness in the extremities, and more, within six to eight hours after eating it.

If you stick with younger and smaller giant trevally, though, you’ll probably be okay, because it’s typically the larger, older fish that harbor the ciguatera toxin. Fortunately, the smaller ones taste better, anyway.

Final Thoughts

Giant trevally fish may not be the first choice for consumption, especially if you have other fish on your boat.

However, if you want to try some meat from that prized giant trevally you landed just to say you ate your catch, it is certainly safe to do so. If you do eat it, be sure to try the eye balls!

However, if your fish is over 20 or so pounds, you might consider releasing it after you get your photograph because it could be toxic and may not taste all that great.

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