We’re coming into summer now and everyone is itching to get out there and have a splash. It’s also nearing the time when we get visits from shoals of kingfish as they come to spawn around NZ. Kingfish are popular with spear fishermen and divers so we thought we’d tell you a little bit about them.
And once you’ve read about these marvellous fish I’m sure you’ll want to watch them in action but don’t blink because you might miss out on seeing them (they’re that quick)!
We see them regularly on our trips just north of Auckland (around Whangaparaoa and Leigh) so do join us to see these fish in a good hunting frenzy!
Other names: Seriola Lalandi lalandi
Food: King Fish are predators which prey on other fish, squid and crustaceans. Juvenile king fish start off eating plankton the move on to larger prey. Big King Fish are very capable of eating live fish which can weigh several kilos.
Size: King Fish can rapidly grow up to 2-3kgs in their first year eventually reaching up to 50kg. Studies indicate that female king fish reach sexual maturity when they get to about 5-7 years old when they reach a size of about 78-128cm., and males between 75-93cm and this is why the legal size limit is set at 75cm
Colour: unmistakable with their classic pelagic, torpedo shape with green backs and characteristic yellow stripe and sickle shaped tail.
Habitat: rocky shores, reefs, pinnacles and turbulent waters surrounding offshore islands in water up to 200m deep. Juvenile’s fish are pelagic, free-swimming far out to sea and often gathering under floating objects. Adults are sometimes described as semi-pelagic and occur mainly in open coastal waters. They patrol coastlines and reefs, entering shallow harbours in search of food and frequenting most marine habitats at various times, taking advantage of whatever food sources are available. Some fish take up residency on suitable reefs, seldom moving far from home.