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Seasonal Guide

Kingfish Fishing

Also known as yellowtail kingfish, this species grows to world-record size in New Zealand. They are the species that gave the initial momentum to New Zealand Game Fishing. Kingfish prompted the first recreational sports fishing charters back in 1911 and the creation of New Zealand’s first (and the world’s second oldest) game fishing club in the Bay of Islands. Encounters with marlin and marko sharks led to a switch of interest years later, but kingfish have always remained a valued sport fish.

Kingfish can grow up to two metres in length and over 60 kg and are exactly the same as the so-called Californian kingfish. Its colour is variable in shades of grey-green to blue-green with yellow fins, particularly the tail fin, and they have a yellowish brown stripe along their sides. The largest population of kingfish is found in northern waters. They move south in summer months to the vicinity of the Banks Peninsula on New Zealand’s South Island.

Kingfish Feeding & Breeding
The diet of kingfish is mostly other fishes, either bottom or surface kinds such as pilchards, mullet, herring and garfish. They also consume big meals of squid and octopus found in their customary habitat among reefs and rocky shores. There seems to be both seasonal movement between deep and shallow habitats and an offshore movement of kingfish in early to mid-summer for spawning.

Fishing for Kingfish
This fantastic sport fish is caught with a variety of techniques including trolling, jigging, live baiting from shore or boat and fly fishing. Kingfish are also a very popular target fish for land-based game fishing.

Click here for more information on booking your kingfish fishing charter.

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Ph: +64 (09) 402 7085 / +64 (0) 2168 4804. info@wildbill.co.nz