Kingfish, Yellowtail

(Seriola lalandi)

Commonly referred to as Kingies!

The yellow tail king fish has earned itself the reputation of a real thug or hoodlum of a species and is still considered by many anglers as one of the strongest fish in the ocean pound for pound. They are generally encountered in the kind of terrain that is far less favourable to the angler than the fish leaving many anglers with trembling hands and puzzled faces as they try to work out how to stop these steam trains of the ocean.


Yellow tail king fish can be located from as far south as Albany  right up to the Shark Bay region throughout Western Australia and are also quite prevalent from southern Queensland down to S.A.


Yellow tail king fish grow to around 60kg in weight and reach a maximum length of around 2 meters although a typical size kingie is around 3 – 6kg in most locations with larger fish averaging between 15 – 25kg.


Yellow tail king fish prefer inshore and off shore reef systems and rocky headlands with water depths ranging from 10 – 100 meters. They also prefer these areas to have steep drop offs and pinnacles to use as under water obstacle courses to wrap anglers lines through and around!


Yellow tail king fish can be easily identified by their bright yellow tails and torpedo shaped torso. They are blue to green in colouration across the back leading down to green flanks and a cream to white belly. King fish also have a gold stripe running horizontally across each flank and bright yellow fins. They posses a large, powerful mouth with no teeth present but do have very rough, sand paper like gums.

Taste rating

  • Sixty Taste Rating

Yellow tail king fish like most seriola species are an average table fish.

Sport rating

  • Ninety Sport Rating

Yellow tail king fish are famous for their fighting capabilities and are one of the strongest species of fish swimming!

Tackle requirements

Medium to heavy, spin or overhead tackle is well suited to targeting yellow tail kings from shore or  boat with medium to heavy strength braided, gel spun or nylon lines with a breaking strain of 30 – 80lb proving ideal. 80 – 150lb nylon leaders should be attached to bright braided or gel spun lines to prevent fish from seeing the line and also to help prevent chafe offs on rough structures. Medium sized lever drag reels are best suited for most trolling purposes.

Recommended baits, lures and rigs

Although small to medium yellow tail kings can be taken using standard bottom fishing rigs and bait’s the larger specimens prefer live baits such as herring, blue, scaly and yellow tail mackerel and squid. Large soft plastic lures and metal jigs as well as deep diving trolling lures are also suitable for larger king fish.

Handy hints and tips

Yellow tail king fish are a true Aussie battler species and prefer patriotic coloured lures such as green and gold.

Preferred fishing times and tides

Rising or full tides are best suited for targeting most fish species around most areas although some deep water locations will also produce good numbers of fish during low and falling tides. New moon phases are also preferable for most fish species including kings.


[What The Fish]