Yellowtail kingfish is a beautiful and extremely hard fighting fish, known for it dirty tactics once hooked . It is a favourite amongst the jigging fraternity. Originally seperate species were recognised but that is no longer the case however some sportfishing association such as the igfa continue to hold seperate records - see http://www.myfishingplace.com.au/fish/yellowtail-california for the seperate listing for the Californian Yellowtail.
How To Identify:
Kingfish are a very streamlined, torpedo-shaped fish with a solid and powerful body. They are sometimes confused with the Amberjack (http://www.myfishingplace.com.au/fish/amberjack-greater) and/or Samson fish (http://www.myfishingplace.com.au/fish/samson-fish), however the yellowtail kingfish has a yellow tail for which it is named, the other two don't. They are blue-purple (or Greeny-purple) above the lateral line to the snout, its belly is silver, and it has a distinctive yellow-gold band that separates the silver and the bluey-purple. They can grow over 50kgs. Although there is some argument that there is only one species of Yellowtail Kingfish, we are recognizing the separate subspecies as to fit in with IGFA records. See also California Yellowtail.
How To Catch:
Schooling Kingfish (up to about 15kgs) can be berleyed up to the boat and then either bait cast to them or lures. Live baits for Kingfish are best and include live squid, yakkas, pike, sweep, garfish and no kingfish can resist a live slimie mackerel! They will at times take dead bait such as pilchards of fillets of fish such as Tuna (Mack tuna are good as very oily) however live bait is always best. They will also readily take lures and surface poppers when the yare burleyed to the surface. Soft plastics are also popular around inshore reefs and bommies. Land Based Game (LBG) is also very popular for kingfish, however make sure you up spec you equipment as they can be hard to stop around the rocks and quickly head for the nearest reef or bommies when hooked. Jigging for Kingfish has become very popular in the last few years and they hit large metal knife jigs extremely hard and fight right to the boat. Again tackle needs to be of the best quality as when they hit those jigs and realized they are hooked they will head straight for the bottom.
In Australia Yellowtail kingfish are predominately a southern water species and ranges from southern Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, and subtropics parts of Western Australia. In New Zealand they range right around the North Island and top east of the South Island. Kingfish love offshore reefs, pinnacles, deep bays and estuaries. The particularly inhabit strong structure such as reef bommies, wrecks, wharves and bridge pylons. Young fish (to about 7kgs) school in large numbers, whereas big fish become more solitaire. Kingfish like cleaner water.