What do I use to catch yellowtail out of Newport Beach?
What kind of setup should I use to catch yellowtail? I have an Avet Sx with 30 pound spectra and a 20 pound topshot, on a Shimano 15-30 rod. I have a Shimano Torium 30 with 65 pound spectra and 30 pound test on a Shimano Tallus 20-50. I have an Abu Garcia Revo Toro 60 with 20 pound test on a 15-30 Shimano Trevla and I have an Avet Jx 6.1 on a 20-40 Shimano Voltaeus. How do I catch yellowtail. what baits do i use (plastics, irons, live baits, etc) and how do i work these baits? thanks and happy fishing
Depends on when, where, and how big the yellows are. Yellows can be taken just about anywhere (at times) — I’ve seen them in 10 feet of water in King Harbor, in 400 fathoms 50 miles offshore, and just about anywhere in between. Sometimes they’re on the surface, other times they hang out on the bottom in 200+ feet of water. Sometimes they’ll “eat the paint off the boat”, other times they’ll ignore almost everything. Usually they’re pretty picky, compared with the other fish in the area (bass, barracuda, etc.)
In general (in California waters), start with 20-30 pound test and the live bait that’s available. If live squid is available and the fish are standard local 10-15 pounders, I’d go with the 20 or 30 pound test, fished on the surface or with a little weight. If the bait is sardines, stick with the 20 pound unless the fish get really stupid or you’re losing too many in the rocks. Mackerel, use 30 or 40 pound line. If the fish are boiling on the surface, try a large light jig (Tady 45 or similar) with a “medium” retrieve (the speed which gives the jug its best action — this is a matter of feel. If the fish are deep, use a heavy iron (Salas 6xJr or similar), drop it to the bottom and retrieve fast (yoyo style). Or rig with a dropper loop and send down a bait (sardine, mackerel, squid). If the bait is just anchovies, you might have to go to 15 pound test to get bit. Though I’ve never targeted yellows with plastics, I’ve seen enough taken with them to know they work at times.
The best advice is to watch the reports and find out what’s working when you’re heading out on your trip, as things can change quickly. Yellowtail probably won’t show in California waters until May or June.
200 Pound Tuna on JIG