Yellowtail Snapper

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Yellowtail Snapper

Species Information

Scientific Name:Ocyurus chrysurus
Common Names:Yellowtail Snapper
Environment:Inshore, Nearshore, Offshore
Ideal Temp:72-90°F (22-32°F)

About Yellowtail Snapper

The Yellowtail Snapper (Ocyurus chrysurus) is an abundant species of snapper native to the western Atlantic Ocean including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. Although they have been found as far north as Massachusetts, their normal range is along Florida south to the West Indies and Brazil. It is the sole member of the monotypic genus Ocyurus, the name of which is derived from the Greek words okys, meaning "swift", as in the bird, and oura, meaning "tail", a reference to the tail being forked like that of a swift. Chrysurus is derived from the Greek word chryso, meaning "golden".

Yellowtail snapper have a distinct yellow lateral band beginning at the snout that gets wider towards the forked tail, which is completely yellow. The rest of the fish is an olive to bluish black color with yellow spots above the lateral band. The dorsal fin is yellow while the anal and pelvic fins are whitish by bony spines. The dorsal fin consists of 10 spines and between 10-12 soft rays, while the anal fins consist of 3 spines and 8-9 soft rays each. In contrast to other snapper species, the head and mouth of Ocyurus chrysurus are small and the species does not have a dark lateral spot below its dorsal fin.

This species is mostly found around coral reefs, but may be found in other habitats. They occur at depths of from near the surface to 180 meters (590 ft), though mostly between 10 and 70 m (33 and 230 ft). This species can reach a length of 86.3 cm (34.0 in), though most do not exceed 40 cm (16 in). They spawn in groups off the edges of reefs from spring to fall, but heavily in midsummer.

Natural predators of adult yellowtail snapper include large fishes such as barracuda, mackerel, grouper, sharks, and even other snapper species. Yellowtails feed on shrimp, crabs, worms, and smaller fish. Yellowtail snapper are typically caught in 30–120 ft of water on and around reefs and other structures. Yellowtail snapper can be caught on a variety of baits, including both live and frozen shrimp, squid, and a variety of live and frozen minnows or smaller baitfish. Yellowtail tend to be wary fish, and the appearance of larger predators, such as dolphins or sharks, can scare off schools until the predator leaves the area. Yellowtail snapper is highly prized for its light, flaky meat and is considered by some to be one of the best of the snapper family.

Yellowtail Snapper Fishing

World Record:4.98 kg (11 lb 0 oz) Challenger Bank, Bermuda 16-Jun-2004
# Fish Caught:276530 documented in database.
Earliest Record:6/1/1845 12:00:00 AM and located at 23.13333, -83.36667.
Latest Record:6/8/2024 5:48:00 AM and located at 28.15428, -82.76440.
Common Techniques:Bottom Fishing, Casting, Jigging
Popular Lure Types:Bottom Rig, Jigs, Soft Plastics
Fishing Spots:911 Yellowtail Snapper fishing spots.

Latest Yellowtail Snapper Fishing Reports and Spots

Red Snapper Multi day 6/6 – 6/8/24 - 6/8/2024 5:48:00 AM

Gulfstar Endurance Fishing Report #2 6/6-6/8   The trip started as normal we left the dock at 10:00 PM. Headed out the Anclote River on the way (View)

Fishing Report! Tuesday January 30 2024 - 1/30/2024 10:21:45 AM

Wintertime fishing is in full swing! Some inconsistent weather has made it difficult to get offshore but there have been a few weather windows (View)

Key West Fishing - 12/22/2023 12:07:59 AM

Key West Fishing Encompasses everything from Blue Marlin to Yellowtail snapper and all fish in between Fishing this December has been nothing s (View)

Nov. 18 - 11/19/2023 8:23:00 AM

Todays catch of yellowtail snapper! (View)

Fishing Report! Monday September 11th 2023 - 9/11/2023 4:42:57 PM

Gag grouper season is off to a fantastic start! Most fish being caught using pinfish in the 130-140′ range along with some solid yellowtail sna (View)

Fishing Report! Monday August 28th 2023 - 8/28/2023 4:18:19 PM

Offshore fishing remains strong with several wahoo mutton snapper and yellowtail snapper being reported this past week. Mangrove snapper bite h (View)

Fishing Report! Thursday August 17th 2023 - 8/17/2023 3:26:33 PM

Offshore reports have certainly begun to heat back up!  A 110lb wahoo was caught this week in 200′ of water on a rigged split tail mullet along (View)

Fishing Report!! Thursday August 2nd 2023 - 8/3/2023 3:10:34 PM

Summertime fishing is certainly in full swing! Offshore reports are staying consistent with a fair amount of red snapper reported solid scamp m (View)

6/9/23 44 Hour Red Snapper Trip - 6/9/2023 12:38:00 PM

    This Red Snapper trip left the dock on 6/9/23 at 10pm. Once again the weather was wonderful. The seas were calm at only 1ft or less and we w (View)

6/5/23 44 Hour Red Snapper Trip Report - 6/5/2023 9:17:00 AM

These trips leave the dock at 10pm and it was setting up to a beautiful voyage. The weather was wonderful. We had close to a full moon and only (View)