Snappers are found in the tropical and subtropical areas of all the oceans. One
of the most favorite and finest tasting of the snapper variety, the yellowtail
snapper runs north to the Treasure Coast area. However, yellowtail snapper are
most numerous in quantity around the Bahamas and the Florida Keys. The time
nearing the full moon, outstanding catches of the mutton snappers are quite
Yellowtail snapper is a delicious fish in the overall list of fish in the
Florida Keys region, surpassed only by the costly yellowfin tuna. The compact
measurement of the fish contributes to its luscious flavor. Yellowtails average
size is between 3-5lbs with larger fish in the 7-9lb range. The flexibility of
the flavor of this fish allows for it to be prepared in a wide variety of
methods. Yellowtail snapper goes exceedingly well with gourmet sauces, marinades
The bright yellow stripe along the mid-portion or thorax that extends into its yellow tail make the yellowtail easily identified. They tend to travel loosely in groups, and not too close to the sea floor.
The minimum size limit is 12 inches and there is a ten snapper combination bag restriction.
Offshore nightfishing for mangrove, lane and yellowtail snapper is excellent in early summer,
especially the month of June.
Yellowtail Snappers Favorite Bait – Weighted live bait attracts grouper & mutton
snapper often pursuing in the chum. Kingfish and Cero Mackerel may also find
their ways onto your hook at certain times of the year. Using live Ballyhoo is
favorable when you can.
If they are pulling drag on 20-lb. spin tackle, a good yellowtail snapper is on.
Diced samples of squid and pilchards, or live shrimp are good for attracting
yellowtail snapper. Glass minnows, silverside as well as sardines may also be
used as good bait for yellowtails.
Frozen chum bags dragged behind your boat will help to chum the water, heavily
starting out. As the yellowtail begin to bite well, you should let up on the
chum. This way, the yellowtail snapper will feast on the baited hook.
Flat Lining and Sandball for Yellowtails – Make filets from squid or ballyhoo.
Further slicing the filets into smaller strips is best. Then combine sand with
the chum to make sandballs at a ratio of sixty percent sand to forty percent
chum. Oily chum is best for this purpose. Begin by adding the the chum into the
sand. Blend the sand-chum combination well, making sure no area is left dry. A
good tip to catch more yellowtail snapper is to add a shake of oats to your
Next, you want to push your hook baited with ballyhoo into the center of the
sandball. Wind the fishing line around the sandball and toss the bait on to the
slick of chum. Allow your line to feed out into the current. When you feel the
fish strike the bait, pull on your line.
Tackle for Yellowtail Snapper Fishing – Hooks that are 1/0 or smaller work best
on conventional reels. Choose Shimano 10-lb spinners for a good fight with
yellowtail. The challenge will be an enjoyable, exhilarating experience for all.
Colorful jigs will also lure the fish.
Twelve to fifteen pounds is the best test for yellowtail snapper. The best color
of line to use would be pink, as the fish probably won’t be able to distinguish
it in the water, with #4 hook-up to a 1/0 and a 1/8 ounce weight is ideal on the
rig for sandballing and flatlining.
The Search for Yellowtail – A distinct drop-off at the reef’s edge should be
sought, as it is common to see smaller fish stacks here. As well, these areas
support a plethora of bottom life supporting bait fish. A good GPS and/or Loran
or can help you find optimal drop-offs.
Florida Keys fishing charters commonly deliver swordfish, Tuna, Dolphin,
Sailfish, Marlin, Cobia, Kingfish, Wahoo and other exciting species. For a
fishing adventure you will remember for a lifetime, fish the Florida Keys!