Yellowtail Kingfish Tips
Yellowtail Kingfish are thought of as a great sporting fish, they can be found as far north as Central Queensland, to all around the southern coast of Australia. Eating wise, the more southern fish are definitely better, the more northern, the less edible the flesh. The Kingfish is often taken while trolling live baits/lures in shallower southern waters in reefy, rocky habitats that hold the bait on a downrigger, but the most effective method is by jigging in deeper waters further north again in reefy rocky habitats. Kingfish are very visual predators so therefore surface poppers can be very attractive to them around shallow rocky outcrops. Kingfish usually turn up late spring in the cooler southern shallow waters, they hang around over the summer before seemingly disappearing before winter sets in.
The Most Popular Method To Catching Kingfish.
Deepwater jigging is the most popular way to chase these fish by far, but you will need some very good sturdy jigging gear if you are going to have any chance of stopping these very powerful fish. I started jigging for Yellowtail Kingfish many years ago as a teenager in Port Phillip Heads (The mouth of Port Phillip Bay Victoria) Back then we only jigged big raider lures on Abu 7ooo reels spooled with 30-pound mono. Back then this was the go and we hooked plenty of fish but rarely landed one over 10 kg. Nowadays things are a bit different, with reels like Saltiga and Stella that run 20 kg + drags and spooled with 80 lb braid but it is still very hard to stop these fish even with the gear we have today. If you are new to jigging look at the video below to learn more about it. The lures for jigging should be around 200 to 400 grams depending on water depth and current. The hooks should be 6/0 to 8/0 assist hooks hanging from the top of the jigs as Kingfish hit head first.
Casting For Yellowtail Kingfish.
This is something I really enjoy doing! Sight fishing for Kingfish is fun and frustrating at times. At the moment I live on the Gold Coast
and I chase Kingies around the Broadwater mostly, using a couple of different lures. The first is a Stick Bait which really stirs the Kingies up when you really crank it fast past them. The second method is a little different, I use a nine-inch soft plastic called a Slug-Go or Slap Stik (Aussie version)
I run this plastic on a 7/0 worm hook and using it is very easy, just cast into the Kingie school and give the rod a fast jerk to the left or right which will make the plastic glide, and when the lure glides like a wounded baitfish the Kingies will strike. These methods will work for Kingfish all around Australia especially shallow rocky outcrops.
The gear I use for the smaller fish under 15 kg is a Shimano Sustain 1000 spooled with 30-pound braid on a 7 foot 15 kg rod. For the bigger fish, 15 kg + I use a Saltiga 8000 spooled with 80-pound braid on a 7 foot PE 6-8 rod.
Usually, where you find Yellowtail Kingfish you will also find Squid. So before you start chasing Kingies try and catch some Squid first and keep them alive. This is a must!! No matter how big or small the Squid is the Kingies will fight over them. Now that you have collected a few live Squid and have seen Kingfish in the area it is time to make a very simple rig. You will need 3 meters 80 to 100-pound trace and a good quality 6/0 to 8/0 octopus hook depending on the size of the Squid. Tie your 3-meter trace to your braid with an FG knot and put the hook on the other end. Simple rig! Now put the hook through the neck of the Squid.
Placing the hook here lets the Squid swim forward and backward now place the bait back in the live well and wait for the Kingies
to show up. Once you have located the Kingies Lob the live Squid into the school, once it hits the water the live bait will INK!
Enjoy the show as the Kingies will fight over your bait and hang on!!!