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Kingy tag & recapture


Every now and then while talking marlin, you stumble across something of other species that is more interesting!

I had a note from Phil Smith yesterday who fished on Rob Fitzalan’s Reel Trouble on Thursday and tagged two little blacks at Seal Rocks.

They were back out again on Friday with some friends from the bush and were chasing kingfish. They boated one approx 18kg but it wasn’t until after filleting they found a tag in it.  It was sent in to fisheries who confirmed the information for them. It turns out it was tagged off Eden in 2005 which makes it the longest standing (free before recapture) kingfish in their records.

It was originally tagged on 11-11-2005 at 65cm and recaptured 27-1-2017 at 1250cm.  That’s 12 years on the lam and pretty much only doubling in growth. I had no idea that kinfish were so slow growing as (although not a kingfish expert) I imagine they get much bigger than that also!

Very interesting and full credit to the tagging program for the information and thanks to Phil for sending in!

See comments for some interesting information on other kingfish growth rates from Dr. Julian Pepperell.

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Julian Pepperell
February 1, 2017 at 9:16 am

What a great recapture. This shows just how variable fish growth rates can be. I’ve been working on the 2015/16 Gamefish Tagging report for NSWDPI and one recapture of a kingfish showed very rapid growth (as have quite a few others). This one was tagged off Sydney and measured 81cm. It was recaptured just 6 months later and measured 110 cm, or converting to approx. weight, 6.5kg to 17kg in 6 months!
Also, if the kingy recaptured after 11 years measured 125cm, it should have been around 25kg, so maybe it wasn’t grazing in a good paddock :)

Kelly Dalling Fallon
February 1, 2017 at 9:28 am

Very interesting Julian. I wonder if the growth like little marlin is significant while young and slows down with age or even if the original tag/capture damaged its ‘eating system’. Do we know what the typical growth rate is or is this another we are still learning about?

Andrew Hunt
February 1, 2017 at 6:33 pm

There must have been some otolith studies done on kingfish I guess?

Thanks for posting this!

Phil smith
February 2, 2017 at 4:00 pm

it was a case of we didn’t weigh it so we didn’t say it , the fish may well have been in the size range Jullian says . The bite was hard and the fight brutal to the end it was definitely in good nic. However it did have a significant scar on side of face near the mouth which may have affected it’s eating habits at some time

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