The best time to fish for yellowtail in Southern California is typically during the summer months, from late May to early September. During this time, yellowtail are more abundant and active in the waters off the coast of Southern California due to the warmer water temperatures and increased food supply. Their specific locations and behavior can still vary depending on the time of year and weather conditions.
There are several common ways to fish for yellowtail in Southern California, including:
- Live bait fishing: This involves using live baitfish, such as sardines, anchovies, or mackerel as bait to attract yellowtail. Live bait can be fished using a variety of techniques, such as drifting, slow trolling, or free-lining.
- Yo-yo fishing: This is a type of jigging technique that involves rapidly retrieving a heavy metal jig up and down in the water column to imitate a fleeing baitfish. Yo-yo fishing can be very effective for catching yellowtail, especially when they are feeding on smaller baitfish.
- Surface iron fishing: This involves casting and retrieving a heavy metal jig or lure across the surface of the water to imitate a fleeing baitfish. Surface iron fishing can be particularly effective when yellowtail are feeding on larger baitfish near the surface.
It's important to note that the most effective fishing technique can vary depending on the time of year, weather conditions, and the specific behavior of the yellowtail in a given area, especially taking into account the species’ migratory patterns. It's always a good idea to consult local fishing reports, local experts or charter companies to determine the best approach for fishing yellowtail in a particular location.