Offshore, Reef, Wreck
15 - 96 pounds
22" - 98"
The Yellowtail Amberjack (Seriola lalandi) is a saltwater gamefish and a popular target for commercial and recreational fishers alike because it is easy to attract with practically any bait one would happen to have. You can easily distinguish a Yellowtail Amberjack from other fishes with its yellowish dorsal, pectoral, pelvic, anal, and caudal fins, which is where it gets its name from. Aside from the brightly colored fins, it generally has a long, slender body that has blue, bluish-green, or purplish-green hues on top and bright white to silver bellies.
Yes, as mentioned earlier, the Yellowtail Amberjack can grow as long as eight feet and as heavy as two hundred pounds but don’t get your hopes too high as this species commonly grows between fifteen and twenty-five pounds. If, however, you’re lucky enough, you can maybe catch a forty pounder. Just a word of warning, though: Yellowtails are known to be fast and strong swimmers. So if you happen to hook a Yellowtail Amberjack, reeling it in will probably not be an easy task.
While the Yellowtail Amberjack can pretty much be found in tropical and temperate waters of the Pacific Ocean, it’s known to have high concentrations around Catalina and San Clemente Islands, in the Santa Monica Bay and off Long Beach, Newport Beach, Dana Point, and San Diego—especially during summers when the coastal waters are warm. They can also be found as far south as Baja California Sur in Mexico, with Cedros and Benitos Islands being spawning areas.
The Yellowtail Amberjack is a benthopelagic, which means it mostly lives and feeds near the bottom; although it can sometimes wander in midwaters or even near the surface in search of food. And for a higher probability of catching this species, it’s best that you cast your lines over kelp beds, rocky reefs, and other underwater structures as they are known to look in such areas for crustaceans, small fishes, and squids, which are their main diet.
As we’ve mentioned, catching a Yellowtail isn’t that easy. You can, however, significantly up your chances of catching one (or even two) if you know the tricks. Here are some tips to help you catch a Yellowtail Amberjack: