Out of all the fish we fish for, I like fishing Yellowtail the best. This is probably because when I was little kid, growing up fishing on half-day boats with my dad, Yellowtail was the number one prized fish. It’s a very good fighting fish; it’s a very good eating fish, and when you get on the right batch, they’re usually a pretty good size. It’s fun to come across a school of good-sized yellows, like 25-50 pounders. When they’re that big, I like catching them on the surface iron. There’s nothing like casting a 10 foot jig stick with 50 pound test line, a 7x light jig, and landing your line within 5 feet of a boil within 5 seconds and knowing you have a 98% chance of hooking and landing that fish. To me that’s the ultimate. Just to be able to sit there and read the birds and fire that jig and hand it off to people. It’s a lot of fun.
Another way I like to get them is fly-lining big mackerel. There’s nothing like being anchored up some place like Chester’s Rock, or the 5 Fathom at Cedros, where all the 35-50 pound Yellows are blowing out on 1-2 pound mackerel. The bigger the mackerel, the faster you get bit. The guys using 60-80 pound get drug up and down the rail, and it’s a lot of fun to watch.
Another very effective way is deep-water yoyo fishing. Dropper loops are my least favorite way to fish Yellowtail. 95% of the time, if you can get them on the dropper loop, you can get them on the Yo-yo. To me, the dropper loop is not that exciting. Catching them on lures and fly-line baits are my favorite. Lures are my number one favorite; big baits, second. For me personally, any time you can catch any fish on a lure, it just means that much more.