Yellowtail Snapper Fishing Tips

Yellowtail Snapper Fishing TipsYellowtail Snapper can be found in waters from Brazil to Massachusetts, the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of Southern California. A popular catch among anglers and a familiar menu item, yellowtail snapper are often spotted by scuba divers along the reefs lining the Florida coast. A somewhat wary species, catching yellowtail requires slight tactical adjustments and the use of specific equipment to ensure success. With a modicum of effort, anglers can increase their chances of reeling in dinner.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Step 1
Select a 7-foot rod and a spinning or baitcasting reel. Load your reel with 12- to 25-pound test monofilament line. Attach a fluorocarbon leader between 5 to 10 feet, since yellowtail can spot and are suspicious of monofilament line.
Step 2
Choose a line and leader with similar thickness so knots can be more easily tied. Tie a Triple Surgeon's knot to attach the line to the leader, as it offers suitable strength and is easy to learn. Tie a Nail knot if using lines of varying diameter.
Step 3
Use a No. 4 bait hook for its size and strength. Tie the fluorocarbon leader to the hook eye using a Snell knot, as it is both reliable and more evenly distributes force. Avoid tackle that reflects light, such as swivels and plated hooks. Yellowtail will shy from glittering objects.
Step 4
Fish near a reef, outcropping or man-made structure such as a shipwreck. Drop your line in water depths of 50 to 80 feet. Use a digital fish finder to locate yellowtail. Watch the display screen for a triangular-shaped group of fish, as this is a standard yellowtail formation. Seek the deeper end of the depth range if your target is a larger fish.
Step 5
Chum up current from the area to be fished. Use a wire mesh chum basket loaded with ground bait fish or chum blocks that are available at most tackle shops. Tow a chum basket in the area to be fished if currents are mild.
Step 6
Attach bait fish to your hook for best results. Choose fish such as cigar or glass minnows, sardines, silversides and ballyhoo. Use squid during the colder months to mimic yellowtail eating habits. Cut bait and use just enough to cover your hook. Use crab or shrimp alternatively, as these are also common yellowtail meals.
Step 7
Present your baited hook by dropping it into the center of your chum. Keep your line loose so its movement in the water mimics the surrounding chum. Let the snapper take the line for three seconds before setting the hook.

Tips & Warnings

Ask at a tackle shop about area fishing laws. For example, some states have a 12-inch minimum rule and a 10 fish limit on yellowtail snapper.

Article Written By Mike Biscoe

Mike Biscoe has been writing since 2009. Focusing on travel, sports and entertainment topics, he has credits in various online publications including LIVESTRONG.COM and Trails. He often writes articles covering uncommon travel destinations from firsthand experience. Biscoe holds a Certificate of Completion in acting from the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts.

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