Threadfin Salmon (Polydactylus macrochir)

Threadfin Salmon

  • Size 50-90 cm
  • Food Value Excellent
  • Game Qualities Excellent
  • Habitats Backcountry, Flats, Inshore, River

If any fish can give the notorious Barramundi a run for its money, it’s Threadfin Salmon. Also called King Threadfin, Burnett Salmon, Sheridan’s Threadfin, and Gold Threadfin, this fish is a close second to the Barra both in food value and fighting power. Move over Barramundi, there’s a new chart-topper in town!

How Big?

Threadfins typically grow 50-90 cm (20-35”) long, but are known to reach up to 140 cm (55”) on occasion. The IGFA all tackle record for this fish is just over 12 kg (27 lb 8 oz).

When and Where

It’s popular sport to go fishing for Threadfin Salmon anywhere on Australia's northern coast, from Western Australia to southern Queensland. There are actually two different kinds of Threadfin in the waters between northern Australia and southern Papua New Guinea, but most anglers don’t bother to differentiate between them. 

“Threadies” are usually found in shallow, muddy water. Many of them live in tidal streams and will swim upstream during the wet season until reaching freshwater. Both Threadfin species reach their peak in December, in the middle of their spawning season from October to March. Small Threadfins may inhabit tidal flats and lower estuaries until May.

Threadfin SalmonLarge Threadfin Salmon caught in Darwin, Northern Territory

How to Fish

Anglers often catch Threadfin Salmon while fishing for Barramundi, but they also target this hard-fighting fish on its own. It’s common to fish live or dead baits, either on the bottom or under floaters. Some anglers prefer fishing lures on spinning and baitcasting gear, instead. Catching these fish on surface poppers and diving minnow plugs is a blast, and a great way to put your tackle to the test!

Good to Eat?

Threadfin Salmon is a fantastic eating fish, often used as a substitute to Barramundi (some even prefer it). Threadfins are often sold commercially in Australia as “King Salmon.”


Top Threadfin Salmon Fishing Charters

Top Threadfin Salmon Fishing Destinations