Yellowtail Kingfish

Man holding yellowtail kingfish

Yellowtail Kingfish (Seriola lalandi) is a favourite amongst game fishers. They are powerful swimmers and often school as younger fish. While they can be fished year-round, most fishers target kingfish over the summer months between December and March.

Kingfish can be found right across Australia from Queensland, around southern Australia including Tasmania and across to Western Australia. In Victoria, kingfish are often targeted in Portland, Western Port and in the Rip in Port Phillip Bay. For those targeting kingfish in the Rip, visit Steer Clear In the Rip, a campaign run by VRFish in collaboration with Victorian Ports Melbourne, for a map of the kingfish markers in the area.

Kingfish are a pelagic, schooling fish and are generally found in depths up to 50 metres. Although fishers have reported to finding them in waters up to 300 metres. They tend to inhabit rocky reefs, nearby sandy areas in coastal waters and sometimes enter estuaries. Adults can usually be found in deeper water around deep reefs and offshore islands while juveniles are found closer to the coast.

Kingfish can be identified by their elongated, compressed bodies and yellow caudal fin. Adults are dark blue to greenish-blue in colour on the top of their bodies, silvery-white on the lower half of their bodies, often they have a distinct yellow to bronze line across the midline of their body which can be seen from the eye to the yellowish, forked tail. Juvenile kingfish are yellow in colour with black bands. They can grow to 2.5 meres long and weigh a maximum of 96.8 kilograms, however, they are most commonly found around the 1 metre mark.

In Victoria, Yellowtail kingfish have a minimum legal size of 60cm and a bag limit of 5.

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