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 wanting creatures with these beauty hiding a brutal, highly effective and infrequently underhand nature when hooked. Like few different species, a yellowtail king will actively search out a option to do you in round reef or construction, generally even mendacity doggo in a cave or gap whilst you patiently anticipate it to swim out, or just bust off and rig up once more. 

Getting a very good 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 lately. Solely 30 years in the past we didn’t hear a lot about these nice fish, though I think a lot of those 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 infrequently a yellow stripe operating halfway alongside the edges from eyeball to tail. Most kings we see regionally are within the 2–4kg vary, with a couple of up round 10kg, however there are a lot better ones round, sometimes 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 model of angling to take off right here. Samson jigging – effectively 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 kinds of species, we are able to anticipate kings to turn out to be a first-rate sportfishing goal species in coming years.

A few of the most prolific native yellowtail king spots are round Rottnest, notably at West Finish, the place colleges of small ones can often be discovered by both trolling or berleying up (outdoors the trolling-only zone). They’ll fortunately snap up a sizeable minnow model 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 generally pay welcome dividends. It’s usually the case that skippy are available in to the berley path first, adopted by kings a couple of minutes later. When you hook a very good one in 8m of water, grasp 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 dimension, however even then you definately in all probability gained’t land as many as you lose. 

With regards 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 very good sashimi. Recipes for an appropriate dipping sauce are available on-line.


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