Yellowtail Fishing Guide: How To Catch Yellowtail?


The yellowtail fish, an amberjack family member, weighs between 5 pounds and 40 to 50 pounds. The fish is generally fond of structure, including reefs, kelp beds, and wrecks. This is the first place where it heads to once it gets hooked. The yellowtail fish is a good fighter.

Unless you know how to catch yellowtail, you might end up returning home empty-handed every time you wear your best fishing hat and decide to go yellowtail fishing. The yellowtail fishing tips in this article will make it possible for you to reel in a catch.

Where and When to Go Yellowtail Fishing

The migratory yellowtail generally frequents the Southern California islands. The ideal time to go yellowtail fishing is between the late spring and the early summer. Often, yellowtail fishing usually reaches its peak during the late summer and early fall.

If you cast your spinning rod about 60 miles off the shore, you should be able to hook up the yellowtail. It is also possible to locate the yellowtail fish close to the offshore islands or banks using the traditional methods or electronically.

As you have probably guessed, the electronic methods will involve making use of your best portable fish finder. Traditionally, a prime sign of feeding yellowtail is a lot of bird activity. According to experts who are familiar with how to catch yellowtail, terns, hovering close to the surface, are a sure sign that the yellowtail fish is currently pushing its bait toward the surface.

The Bait to Use When Yellowtail Fishing

Part of knowing how to catch yellowtail is recognizing the baits you need to use with your best saltwater fishing rods.  It is generally impossible for the yellowtail to resist a perfectly presented live mackerel (small) or sardine.

During your night fishing trips, you can force your live bait to swim deeper without having to add weights. All you will need to do is hook the bait close to the anal fin.

It is also possible to use artificial baits when yellowtail fishing. If you observe the yellowtail fish crashing baitfish schools, one of the best artificial baits you can use is the iron jig in pewter, chrome, or a blue/white combination. Cast your lure directly at the activity, allow it to sink for a couple of seconds, and then retrieve it slowly while preparing for a jarring strike.

Choosing Your Yellowtail Fish Rig


Fishing for yellowtail with one type of fishing line, rod, and reel is generally not possible. The type of rig you use will depend on a couple of factors, including:

  • Water temperature
  • The direction of the current
  • Suitable forage availability

The yellowtail fish is known to be picky. This tells you that it is necessary to have more than one rig to match the fish’s current needs.

If your bait is made up of small anchovies on a slow bite, you will need to use a 12 to 15-pound line on a small reel with a light fishing rod. On a slightly more aggressive bite, you will need to use a 20-pound line on your medium reel with a medium-action fishing rod. If you are going after the yellowtail fish using bigger bait, such as sardines and mackerel, you will need to use a 25, 40, or 50-pound fishing line, depending on the currently prevailing conditions.

After Hooking the Yellowtail Fish

As mentioned earlier, the yellowtail fish can put up a spirited fight after being hooked. To land the fish, you have to take care of the yellowtail properly. As soon as the fish hits your deck, bleed it and then ice it down. When filleting the yellowtail, be sure to remove the reddish blood meat line running down the middle of each fillet.

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If you know how to catch yellowtail, you should succeed at hooking up a fish every time you decide to go yellowtail fishing. A combination of fishing in the right spot, at the right time, and using the right bait will ensure that you never go home empty-handed. When yellowtail fishing, you should always be prepared to deal with the fish after hooking it up. To land the fish, care is necessary.

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My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!