This article focuses on the techniques to catch Yellowtail using heavy irons and the best times to hunt this species. Fishing irons for Yellowtail, wether it's deep water yo yo jigging or surface fishing, this technique is by far my favorite method for catching Yellowtail. Yellowtail can be pretty much caught year round off of San Diego and up and down southern California. It's not until spring when the big Yellowtail start to make an appearance during the squid spawn. During this last El Nino, the red crab made a huge show and just about every species of fish especially the yellowtail were gorging on these bite size crustaceans. But that didn't damper the jig fishing at all. Yo Yo and surface iron was still in full force just outside most of the beaches in southern California. Once you found the crab or the birds, it was pretty much game on. Not to mention Punta Colonet was limit style fishing on the deep water Yellowtail this winter season.
Fishing the iron take some skill and lots of knowledge. Picking the right size and color is pretty critical in my opinion. My favorite colors are Blue and White, Mint, and the dorado for Yo Yo fishing. Then for surface fishing, I like the Bird Crap, Mint, Scrambled Egg. You'll hear from time to time that color is really critical but when your side by side with a fellow angler and he's catching all the fishing on Blue and White, you might want to think about switching to Blue and white.
A fast ratio reel and a rod with a decent backbone for turning the head of a big fish near structure is a good setup for yo yo. When the Yellows are boiling on the surface, I like to use a graphite rod 8 to 9 foot for casting out far where the big Yellowtail are pushing the bait ball to the surface. Also casting where the birds are working always is a good idea. I've hooked up 9 out of 10 times casting in the bird zone.