argue the merits of fighting fish, the yellowtail is never far
from the top of the list, with most conceding that on a pound-for-pound
basis, they are one of the toughest fighters in the sea. This
is reinforced by a look at the record books. World record line
weight ratios for black marlin catches, range from 11 to 1 to
over 55 to 1 while for yellowtail, anything over 6.5 to 1 will,
with one exception, gain you a world record.
Of the three
sub species of yellowtail: the Californian (Seriola lalandei
dorsalis), the Asian (S lalandei aureovittata) and the Southern
(S lalandei lalandei). It is without a doubt the southern, which
grows to the largest size, of the five populations which occur
in the temperate waters of the southern hemisphere, from South
Africa to Australia, New Zealand is the acknowledged home of
the worlds largest yellowtail.
It is yellowtail, known locally as kingfish or kingies which
are a potent and dominant force in the light to middle weight
tackle game fishing scene on the East Coast.
A check of the IGFA yearbook shows that 17 of the 20 recognised
line class world records, plus 4 saltwater fly records, including
the two 52kg (114pounds 10 ounce) monsters which jointly hold
the all tackle record, were taken in New Zealand waters. The
potential for record catches is high and skippers agree, it is
only a matter of time before the 55kg (120 pound) mark is bettered.
Kingies are available
year round in the northern and eastern half of the North Island,
extending their range to the top of the South Island in summer
months. They are extremely versatile, occupying an extensive
range of habitat from inshore bays, estuaries and shallow reef
areas, to off shore islands and out to the edge of the continental
shelf. Tag returns have shown that they also navigate the Tasman
Sea to Australia.
I look forward to skippering for you should you wish to try your