Key West Yellowtail Snapper
It might take a little cunning from your guide and a lot of chum from the back of your boat, but once you find yourself surrounded by Yellow Tail Snapper, the race is on to strike your limit. Because the Yellow Tail are in such abundance it won't be hard to fill your cooler with fresh catches provided you find yourself in the right place at the right time. When they start striking, fasten you harness because it's going to be a wild Yellow Tail Snapper ride.
The Yellow Tail Snapper Basics
As part of the Snapper family, the Yellow Tail can be found in swarms up and down the Atlantic seaboard and down into the West Indies. For some reason, the Yellow Tail appears to like the reefs and shipwrecks just off of Key West. You'll only have to go as deep as thirty feet to find them. Ask any chef which Snapper they prefer to work with and they'll say, "Why Yellow Tail, of course!" Play your lines right and you could end up with a fantastic dinner based off the fresh catch you land in the morning. That is good eating!
The Yellow Tail Snapper Feeding Patterns
Topping off the perfect menu for Yellow Tail Snappers would be shrimp, crabs and small live baitfish. This makes them idea to land on light tackle. A popular method of drawing them up from the depths is with a little concentrated chumming. Creating a feeding frenzy is a good thing when it comes to landing a Snapper. Just know that the Yellow Tail tend to be a bit finicky when feeding. Besides, you never know what else you might strike in the middle of that frenzy.
What Makes the Yellow Tail Snapper Unique
A decent size Yellow Tail Snapper will go from ten inches up to eighteen inches. The locals refer to the bigger snappers as "Flags." For keepers your Snapper needs to be at least twelve inches or longer and bag limits are in full effect in Key West. Many anglers like to strike out for the large predators so they'll have a good story to share. However, you might just discover that with a balanced tackle you're going to see plenty of action landing one Yellow Tail Snapper after another. When all is said and done it could be a day of quantity and quality.
Where to Find Yellow Tail Snapper
For the bait preferences consider live or fresh chunks of Mahjua or Bonita. Tell your guide you're interested in Yellow Tail Snapper and he'll take you to the reefs where you'll have to fire up the chum. Your best bet is to keep your leader light and your hooks small. The Snapper has good eyes and will avoid a big hook at all costs. As for the best time of the year to land Yellow Tail, they tend to spawn in spring to the fall with heavy periods in mid-summer. Basically, they are a year round catch which means any day can be a Yellow Tail Snapper day!