Yellowtail snapper are an immensely popular species and an excellent sport fish.
HOW TO IDENTIFY A YELLOWTAIL SNAPPER
This colorful reef fish is easily identifiable. The body is olive or bluish gray above with olive-yellow spots and blotches. It has a prominent, brilliant yellow stripe running from the tip of the snout through the eye to the tail; the dorsal fin is also mostly yellow. The deeply forked tail is bright yellow, hence the name. Adult yellowtail snappers may reach a maximum length of 30 inches. This fish rarely exceeds weights of 5 pounds and sexual maturity is attained at lengths of 10-12 inches. Life expectancy is typically 6-14 years .Although most teeth in the upper jaw are densely packed, fine, or hair like "villiform" teeth, there are several canine teeth present as well – the latter constituting a definitive characteristic of all snappers. The lower jaw, which projects slightly beyond the upper, has larger villiform teeth.
WHERE TO CATCH YELLOWTAIL SNAPPER
In the western Atlantic, yellowtail snapper range from Massachusetts and Bermuda to southwestern Brazil; including the Gulf of Mexico. They are very scarce in the northern reaches of their range but are very abundant in the Bahamas, southern Florida and throughout the Caribbean. Yellowtail inhabit coastal waters to a depth of 300 ft and are mainly found associated with coral reefs. It can be found well above the bottom in loose schools or alone. The following list includes additional details on where to catch this fish:
REEFS, WRECKS, AND SHOALS COASTAL WATERS
NIGHT FISHING ROCKY SEA FLOOR
HOW TO CATCH YELLOWTAIL SNAPPER
A common approach to catching yellowtail snapper is chumming while at anchor. These finicky feeders are attracted to the chum and then fished with live or cut bait; even plugs and flies. Many of the largest yellowtails are caught bottom fishing in deep water with live pilchards or other baitfish, even large ballyhoo. Adult yellowtail snappers are primarily nocturnal predators. They feed on benthic organisms including crabs, shrimp, cephalopods, worms, and fish. Juveniles, living primarily among sea grasses, feed on plankton. The following are fishing methods used to catch this fish:
DRIFT FISHING CHUMMING STILL FISHING
FLY FISHING BOTTOM BOUNCING SALTWATER JIGGING
YELLOWTAIL SNAPPER LURES, TACKLE & BAIT
The following are lures, tackle or bait that can be used to catch this fish:
CUT BAIT JIGS SHRIMP FLIES
SALTWATER LIVE BAIT SQUID