Kahawai are a streamlined inshore pelagic fish that are very fast movers and feed heavily on smaller baitfish. They have large eyes, and their colours on the body vary as juveniles can have golden yellow bars with black dots where adults seem to lose these colouring and the dots blend into the dark blue/green top side and fade to a silver-white underbelly.
Kahawai caught inshore seem to carry more of the yellow, where the open water fish are much darker blue/green topside. Kahawai can grow to over 10 kg but average 1-3 kg.
Kahawai are found pretty much everywhere you put bait in the water. They get a hiding from the commercial and recreational sector but they still seem to have a strong hold on pretty much all inshore areas around the North Island.
Kahawai are by far our favourite bait for kingfish due to the size that they grow. There’s something nice about sticking out a massive kahawai live bait for a kingfish, and the kahawai seem to be one of their main food sources that is rarely turned down.
Other great things about kahawai are that they are easy to catch, and they can take a bit of handling when removing them from the hook to the live bait tank. Once in the tank they do very well, even in large numbers, as long as you have good water changes on regular basis.
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