The yellowtail horse mackerel is a member of the Carangidae family, found around most of New Zealand and Australia, living to an age of 20 years plus.
It has a very distinctive yellow back and tail fading into a silver underbelly, and they have yellow scutes running along the centre of the fish to half way along (these scutes are great for spiking the hands..).
Yellowtail horse mackerel have been found from depths off 1 to 500 meters and can grow to a length of 50 cm; they are a school fish and live on mostly plankton and small pelagic fish.
This is one of the most widely spread live baits you can catch in New Zealand. I have caught them in almost every location, from harbours, inshore, and out in the deep 20 miles off shore. Yellowtail horse mackerel are pretty much everywhere, and that is one reason they are such a great live bait for kingfish.
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