How to Catch Samson Fish

Samson Fish, or Seriola Hippos (same family as the Yellowtail Kingfish) are known for their brutally hard fights and their ability to test even the most experienced fisherman. Although not regarded as a top quality eating fish, Sambos are a prime target for the serious fisherman to test his strength and the quality of his equipment.

Around the waters of Perth, Samson fish can be found in almost any depth of water and can take almost any type of bait. Often Samson fish are hooked while snapper/dhufish fishing and can make an absolute mess of you nicely laid out snapper spread. In any case, catching a Samson fish can be good fun and hard work.



During the summer months, the Samson fish congregate to spawn in the waters west of Rottnest island in an area known as the barges. This hotspot is well known by charter boat operators and many keen fishermen, so if you plan to head out there, it’s likely you wont be the only one. However, in recent years, the shark population has learnt that they can get an easy feed here, so expect to loose a few fish (and lures).

There have been some good numbers of Samson Fish in the inner reefs around perth. If you’re not keen to go out wide past Rotto, try the back of 3 mile of the 5 fathom bank.


Samson fish fight hard, so don’t go out under gunned until you have had some practice. We have spend 15+ minutes fighting a fish on light gear only to have him run us into the reef. So don’t be afraid to size up. A good starting point for the inner reefs is a 6000 sized reel with 30-40lbs braid and some good quality 60lbs leader.

If you are heading out the barges, make sure you take some dedicated jigging gear. Your arms will fall off if you try to jig all day with a long, heavy boat rod. An ideal jigging rod is less than 6foot in length and for Sambos should be able to handle PE4+ braid.


Samson fish caught on a jig


We have been trying all sorts of techniques from live bait, dead bait, soft plastics, knife jigs and butterfly jigs, with good success with all. But in the shallow water, baits work best.

If you want to have some good success jigging out the back of Rotto, you need to work out how to read your sounder and make sure you’re on top of the fish before you start jigging.

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