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Queenfish (Scomberoides tol) Photographs and Information

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.

Queenfish are a tropical sporting fish.  They have power, speed and courage and will leap repeatedly in the effort to throw the lure.

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.

Most queenfish 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

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.

The Queenfish inhabits coastal waters, often in schools.  Smaller fish are found in estuaries and inlets, with larger fish being found offshore, usually near reefs and headlands.


Map showing where queenfish are found in Australian waters

Habitat: Saltwater. Over the continental shelf, sometimes close inshore.

Queenfishes belong to the trevally family (Carangidae). They are sometimes confused with another group of trevally species, the darts (Trachinotus spp).

Scientific Name Scomberoides tol
Location Northern Australia, WA, NT, QLD
Season All Year round
Size To 60 cm
Australian Species Code 37 337905
Taste, Texture Rather dry to eat.


Nutritional Information
For every 100 grams raw product
for Queenfish fillet.

Kilojoules -
Cholesterol 25 mg
Sodium -
Total fat (oil) 0.6 g
Saturated fat 34% of total fat
Monounsaturated fat 13% of total fat
Polyunsaturated fat 53% of total fat
Omega-3, EPA 11 mg
Omega-3, DHA 120 mg
Omega-6, AA 29 mg

Queenfish (Scomberoides tol)

Angling for Queenfish:

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 fishing line.       

Saltwater Fish - What bait to use for fishing - a list of saltwater baits with the main "diners" who will be tempted.


Cooking Queenfish:

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. The flesh is rather dry to eat.

With their firm flesh and good flavour, queenfishes lend themselves to a wide range of cooking methods including grilling, poaching, shallow frying and baking.

Queenfish can be baked whole, or the fillets pan-fried or poached. In some Asian countries queenfish is dried and salted.

Fillets of queenfish can be blackened, Cajun style, and served with a light salad of greens and pickled watermelon rind. They are also ideal for the barbecue but remember to score the flesh first.

If using a dry heat method of cooking such as grilling, marinate the fish first or serve with a sauce. This will help limit the dry texture.

Microwave Cooking Times for Fish
- Fish fillets 5 minutes per 500g on medium-high, +50 seconds more for thicker fillets, or until flesh flakes
- Whole fish - Large 6 minutes/750g on medium
- Whole fish Small 3-4 minutes on medium


huge queenfish, fresh queenfish, cairns ocean products, australian seafood

Commercial Fishing for Queenfish:

Wild caught.

Recovery Rate
Fillets: 47% from whole queenfish

Four similar species are marketed as queenfish, they all have long bodies, looking more like mackerels than like the other members of the trevally family. Available wild caught they are free-swimming marine fish found in tropical, often quite shallow, waters of the continental shelf from Shark Bay (WA) to Batemans Bay (NSW). They are caught using gill nets, by lining and trolling.

Mostly available from June - October, though supply is limited.

Size and Weight
Commonly 50-100cm and 1-7kg, but can grow to 14kg and 120cm.

Commercial Fishing for Queenfish in Northern Territory
Fishers in the fishery may operate from a mother boat with up to two dories. They may use any number or combination of troll lines, floating hand lines and rods. It is common for fishers to troll two to four lines behind a dory and up to eight lines from a mother boat. Using more than one licence, some operators use up to four dories with one mother boat.

Most commercial fishers purchase bait (usually southern Australian garfish) for their fishing operations. However, a small number of operators fish for bait under a restricted bait net entitlement. Bait fish, usually garfish, harvested under this entitlement, may only be used for the commercial fishing of Spanish mackerel.

Processors of Queenfish | Exporters of Queenfish | Importers of Queenfish | Wholesale Suppliers of Queenfish | Agents for Queenfish

More links about Queenfish

Australian Government - Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (PDF file) - Australian Fisheries Statistics 2010/2011

BioOne - Life History, Ecology, and Long-term Demographics of Queenfish (PDF file)




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