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, smooth 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 strategy to do you in round reef or construction, generally even mendacity doggo in a cave or gap when you patiently await it to swim out, or just bust off and rig up once more. 

Getting a great one, say something over 8kg, is a major feat on sort out 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 believe lots of people who have been caught have 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 typically extra silver with, because the identify suggests, a yellowish tail and infrequently 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 a lot 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 Nineteen 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 totally different story 30 or so years later and with a resurgence of curiosity in jigging for all kinds of species, we will anticipate kings to turn out to be a major sportfishing goal species in coming years.

A number of the most prolific native yellowtail king spots are round Rottnest, significantly at West Finish, the place faculties of small ones can repeatedly be discovered by both trolling or berleying up (exterior the trolling-only zone). They may 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, typically in depths of 8m or much less, will generally pay welcome dividends. It’s typically the case that skippy are available to the berley path first, adopted by kings a couple of minutes later. In the event you hook a great one in 8m of water, dangle on and cross your fingers, if that’s biologically attainable. Good high quality 8–10kg spinning sort out is about proper for tackling kings of modest measurement, however even then you definitely most likely gained’t land as many as you lose. 

In the case of 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 acceptable dipping sauce are available on-line.

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