The snapper family includes some of the most popular game fish you’ll find in Key West, with most of them making for delicious table fare as well. Captain Pepe’s guide to snapper fishing will give you an overview of the four most popular snapper species in the region.
A yellowtail snapper is usually easy to recognize from its oblong shape and yellow to olive coloring. They have a huge tail almost as long the rest of their body. One the smaller species of snapper, the yellowtail’s weight typically ranges between 1-5 pounds, which means you’ll need to land a good number of these delicious table fish to provide dinner for your party.
Fishing for Yellow Snapper in Key West
A fish that tends to congregate in large schools, the yellowtail snapper is a popular target in Key West because they’re fairly easy to land once you locate a few of them. They tend to prefer reef structures and can be found in a wide range of depths, usually between 25-200 feet. They tend to feed at both the middle and the bottom of the water column.
Another key to catching yellowtail snapper is understanding their wary nature. This, along with their keen eyesight, means that they’ll spook easily at the sight of a large hook or shadow and become very difficult to catch. This means it’s best to fish for yellowtail with light tackle and small hooks.