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, glossy 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 solution to do you in round reef or construction, typically even mendacity doggo in a cave or gap when you patiently anticipate it to swim out, or just bust off and rig up once more. 

Getting one, say something over 8kg, is a big feat on sort out rated at 8kg or much less.

The excellent news is that kings seem 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 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 usually extra silver with, because the identify suggests, a yellowish tail and sometimes a yellow stripe working halfway alongside the edges from eyeball to tail. Most kings we see regionally are within the 2–4kg vary, with just a few 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 type of angling to take off right here. Samson jigging – properly that turned out to be an entire completely different story 30 or so years later and with a resurgence of curiosity in jigging for all types of species, we will anticipate kings to change into a primary sportfishing goal species in coming years.

A number of the most prolific native yellowtail king spots are round Rottnest, notably at West Finish, the place faculties of small ones can often be discovered by both trolling or berleying up (outdoors the trolling-only zone). They may fortunately snap up a sizeable minnow type lure alongside the traces of a Laser Professional 160, or will take an entire mulie or dice with relish.

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

In terms 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 excellent sashimi. Recipes for an appropriate dipping sauce are available on-line.

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