Sci: Scomberoides commersonnianus and S. lysan
Common Names: The queenfish or "queenie" is popularly known
in the Northern Territory and other parts of tropical Australia as the "skinny
fish" or "skinny". In other parts of the world, this species or closely related
fish are also called leatherskin or whitefish. Several species or queenfish are
found in our waters, although S. commersonnianus and S. lysan are by far the largest
and most important.
Description: The common queenfish (S. commersonnianus) is
a long, fairly deep and extremely laterally-compressed saltwater and estuarine
fish of tropical waters. Its typical colouration is typically dark green along
the top of the back, and metallic-silver to silvery-white on the flanks and belly,
sometimes with a yellowish tinge. A series of oval-shaped blotches forms a broken
line along each flank.
Size: Most "queenies" caught by anglers weigh from 0.8 to
8 kg, with occasional specimens up to 10 or even 12 kg and very rare giants of
15 kg or slightly more.
Distribution: This tropical fish is rarely found
in large numbers far south of the Tropic of Capricorn, although
stragglers are sometimes taken in Hervey Bay and even Moreton
Bay, in southern Queensland. They also turn up in reasonable
numbers in and around Shark Bay, in Western Australia.
Fishing Techniques: This exciting sport fish falls for live
baits, dead baits, fish strips and pilchards or garfish on ganged hooks, as well
as various lures and flies. With lures, the emphasis should be on movement and
speed, which will excite the queenfish. Fast trolled or rapidly-retrieved sliced
chrome lures, poppers, spoons, minnows and saltwater flies are all excellent choices.
A wire or heavy monofilament nylon leader is advisable when pursuing queenfish,
as their hard, sharp-edged jaws and small teeth can easily damage light nylon
Eating Qualities: Although sometimes denigrated in the tropics
because of the ready availability of more "glamorous" table fish , queenfish have
firm, white meat with an excellent flavour, although tending towards dryness.
Smaller specimens are not generally popular because of the very thin fillets and
excessive wastage. Queenfish should be bled and iced after capture.