Dave Thomson with a nice little Rotto king. This one would have been great sport on fly.
Dave Thomson with a pleasant little Rotto king. This one would have been nice sport on fly.

by Mike Roennfeldt

Yellowtail kingfish are amongst my favorite species to catch. They’re lengthy, modern and funky trying creatures with these beauty hiding a brutal, highly effective and sometimes underhand nature when hooked. Like few different species, a yellowtail king will actively hunt down a approach to do you in round reef or construction, typically even mendacity doggo in a cave or gap when you patiently look ahead to it to swim out, or just bust off and rig up once more. 

Getting a superb one, say something over 8kg, is a major feat on deal with rated at 8kg or much less.

The excellent news is that kings look like thriving in metro waters in recent times. Solely 30 years in the past we didn’t hear a lot about these nice fish, though I think a lot of people who had been caught had been recognized as Samson fish and left at that. The king is a sleeker fish than the Samson, its head is much less blunt and its color usually extra silver with, because the title suggests, a yellowish tail and sometimes a yellow stripe working halfway alongside the perimeters from eyeball to tail. Most kings we see domestically are within the 2–4kg vary, with a couple of up round 10kg, however there are significantly better ones round, often reaching sizes approaching 35–40kg at locations just like the Abrolhos and Shark Bay’s South Passage.

Jigging for kings was a part of the game fishing revolution on the east coast again within the Seventies, however again then we by no means actually had the concentrations of kings for that fashion of angling to take off right here. Samson jigging – properly that turned out to be a complete completely different story 30 or so years later and with a resurgence of curiosity in jigging for all types of species, we are able to count on kings to grow to be a main sportfishing goal species in coming years.

Among the most prolific native yellowtail king spots are round Rottnest, significantly at West Finish, the place faculties of small ones can usually be discovered by both trolling or berleying up (outdoors the trolling-only zone). They’ll fortunately snap up a sizeable minnow fashion lure alongside the strains of a Laser Professional 160, or will take a complete mulie or dice with relish.

Shallow water berleying at different spots round Rotto, usually in depths of 8m or much less, will typically pay welcome dividends. It’s usually the case that skippy are available to the berley path first, adopted by kings a couple of minutes later. Should you hook a superb one in 8m of water, dangle on and cross your fingers, if that’s biologically doable. Good high quality 8–10kg spinning deal with is about proper for tackling kings of modest measurement, however even then you definitely in all probability gained’t land as many as you lose. 

In relation to cooking yellowtail kingfish, I like to chop the flesh into comparatively skinny fillets of lower than 1cm thick, roll them in egg and breadcrumbs and shallow fry in oil. Don’t overcook although as they’ll dry out. Serve with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon and prepare for the compliments.

Alternatively, thinly sliced kingfish fillets, round 5mm thick, make for excellent sashimi. Recipes for an acceptable dipping sauce are available on-line.


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