My Mom was visiting this past week, she can’t really spearfish but she likes to yellowtail, so we chased after the yellowtails. We had decent conditions for yellow tailing dirty water and light current and at few points we had a pretty good bite going but for the most part the tails where small. A couple of the places where I found large schools of yellowtails while spearfishing, did produce a lot of tails but they where only in 50 feet of water, and the tails were small. Not sure if this is mostly just because it’s the summer and the water is so warm or what. We had better sized yellowtails in 80-90 feet of water.
The day we had the best luck on the yellowtails we also had a festival of sharks around the boat. When we first hit the spot after the chum was only in a few minutes a huge school of chubs appeared behind the boat. I was about to pull anchor but behind the chubs I could see the yellowtails, so we stayed. Then after a few minutes three reef sharks showed up two were pretty good sized for reef sharks and the the third was a monster. We lost many yellowtail to the sharks, I put some baits out with wire and managed to bring one shark to the boat side, another straightened out a hook. That seemed to make them back off a bit on eating the yellowtails. There where so many sharks I could not put a grouper bait down. If I put a bait on the bottom it would either be immediately cut off, or I would get a 20 minute tug of war with a big nurse shark. I don’t know how many nurses are down there, but it wasn’t the same one each time because I would look for the hook from the last shark brought up and it would not be there. Towards the end of the day, we discovered that the water was dirty enough to catch the yellowtails on 20# line, which dramatically improved the odds of getting them in boat. We caught 17 tails that day along with some triggers and jacks.
We tried yellow tailing a couple more times with mixed results, I have to find some deeper spots for doing this in the summer. We also caught a bird one day but was able to release it unharmed. I mostly suck at hook and line fishing, and find it very frustrating compared to spearfishing, I should probably devote some time into learning to hook and line better , even if its just for when people visit.