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
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.
for more information on booking your kingfish fishing charter.