Despite its small stature, the yellowtail snapper is one of the most highly sought-after by anglers. Not only is the fish colored beautifully, but it is a strong fighter, especially on light tackle. The yellowtail finds its way in seafood markets and restaurant menus across the United States. Learn what the yellowtail snapper is and where to find them.

Remember not to confuse the yellowtail snapper with the pacific yellowtail or member of the jack family. We can’t give pacific yellowtail spearfishing tips because we are focusing on the much smaller yellowtail snapper along the east coast caught by rod and reel.

What Is The Range Of A Yellowtail Snapper

While the yellowtail, otherwise known as a flag, is found from Massachusetts to the north down through Florida. 

Despite the significant range, the yellow tail is most common in South Florida and is thin in population off of the North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia coasts. 

How Do You Identify A Yellowtail Snapper

The fish is long and slender, and hence the name, yellowtail, has a pronounced yellow line that extends from head to tail.

In addition to the identifying yellow line, the fish is equipped with a forked tail, making it a powerful swimmer. 

How Big Do Yellowtail Snapper Grow

A significant number of family members in the snapper family grow large, exceeding 10 pounds. However, the yellowtail is small when compared to most. 

The average fish weighs between one and three pounds. However, those deemed as flags exceed five pounds. Five-pound yellowtail will cause a drag-pulling battle. 

Are Yellowtail Snapper Good To Eat

The fillets from a yellowtail snapper are excellent. When it comes to yellowtail snapper taste, the flesh is described as delicate, mild, and sweet flavor. 

Yellowtail fillets are thin, and therefore they are easily overcooked. Overcooked snapper will become dry; therefore, pay close attention while preparing the meal. Some of the most popular methods include frying, cooking whole, or snapper Francese.

What Is The Habitat Of A Yellowtail Snapper

The fish spends its time suspended over reefs. Reefs along the coast provide shelter and a food source as it primarily eats small fish, crabs, and shrimp

When it comes to water depth, the fish is found between 40 and 120 feet. The majority of the flag-sized fish are caught on the deeper end of the spectrum. 

What Type Of Tacked Is Used For Yellowtail Snapper Fishing

Unlike the red snapper or mutton snapper, avoid using heavy rods, reels, weights, and large hooks when yellowtail snapper fishing. 

The best line and hooks to catch yellowtail in combination with a light spinning combinations are an ⅛ ounce lead, number four hook, or a jig head. The leader line must also remain light, and fluorocarbon is the best option. Yellowtails are hesitant to strike heavy leaders with large hooks and weights that are easily seen. 

When it comes to the best fishing line for yellowtail, we recommend 12-15 pound monofilament or braided fishing line. Lastly, to increase the number of strikes. Again, we can stress enough, use a fluorocarbon leader line because it is less visible to the fish.

What Type Of Bait Do Yellowtail Eat

When it comes to how to catch yellowtail snapper, undoubtedly the silverside minnow is the best bait selection for catching flags. Remember to pair the proper bait like silversides with small hooks or jigs and a fluorocarbon leader. Tip the hook or jig with up to three silversides must be placed on the hook to entice the fish to strike.

While drift fishing is an option, anchoring is the most effective. An anchored boat allows the angler to chum the waters. Chum is groundfish and crustaceans which is frozen in a block. The chum block is placed in a bag with holes and is deployed into the water while remaining attached to the vessel.

Chum blocks slowly release food in a trail behind the boat, which lures fish to or near the surface and often within sight. 

Anglers utilizing a spinning reel for yellowtail flat line baited hooks behind the boat. Flatlining is keeping the reel’s bail open while allowing the line to pass through your fingers as it descends into the water. When yellowtail strikes the bait, the line pulls quickly from the reel. At that point, promptly close the bail and reel. 

Ice down the freshly caught fish to maximize the taste and texture when preparing yellowtail meals. 

Are You Ready To Catch Yellowtail Snapper

Although encountering yellowtail is unlikely in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina the snapper is caught occasionally on the offshore reefs. The mild white fillets are highly versatile and can be prepared in a multitude of ways. Remember to use silver sides as yellowtail snapper bait because it is the most effective. Lastly, the yellowtail is an excellent fighter on light tackle.