Yo Yo Iron Fishing – Yellowtail Season Musts

Yo Yo Iron Fishing – Yellowtail Season Musts

Yo Yo Iron FishingYo Yo Iron Fishing

Yo yo fishing is one of the first styles of fishing I learned as an offshore fisherman. It’s an effective technique when targeting fast moving schools of yellowtail, and will work to catch tuna as well.

The effectiveness of yo yo iron fishing demands that every offshore fisherman learns the technique.

What is Yo Yo Iron Fishing?Yo Yo Iron Fishing

Yo yo fishing is a style of fishing where you use a heavy lure, and basically drop it straight down.

After the lure has reached a desired depth, the angler reels it straight back up. It’s easy to see why it’s called yo yo fishing.

What kind of equipment do I need?

The Rod

Almost any offshore rod can be used to yo yo fish. My review of the Calstar GFGR 700H is a good example, but most any rod that can hold 40-60 lb line will work.

The Reel

The reel should hold up to at least 40 lb line, and have a high gear ratio. I recommend at least 5:1. My penn Fathom review is a good comparison.

The Line

Line choice when yo yo fishing comes down to spectra or monofilament. Flourocarbon is not typically used, probably due to the speed at which the lure is reeled through the water. I suggest using 1/3 spectra backing, and the rest 40-60 lb monofilament. Take a look at choosing fishing line for some recommendations.

What Kind of Lure Will I Need?

Yo Yo Iron Fishing There are countless amounts, varieties, shapes, colors, and sizes of yo yo lures (or iron as we call them) on the market today. It’s important the iron is heavy enough to drop quickly. The hook attached can also be of concern. Make sure whatever you buy, uses quality hooks. Note that on many iron jigs the hook can be switched out.

Here’s a few I like

Yo Yo Iron FishingSumo 6 Blue Chrome Jigs with Big Game Hook





Sumo 00314 Dragonfly Jig 6oz Yo Yo Iron FishingSardine






Sumo Tackle Iron Jig, 7-1/2-Ounce, Chartreuse GreenYo Yo Iron Fishing Mackerel


Tricks of the trade

Listen to the captain!

Yo yo iron fishing is often a matter of timing. Go when the captain tells you, and stop when he tells you. You will hook more fish.

Learn the conventional reel

Yo yo iron fishing is a perfect way to learn the conventional reel. It involves a lot of reeling, and free spooling. This helps develop the feel of the reel before moving on to casting.

Check your line and drag

Make sure your line is good. It will need to take a lot of force. Check your drag. Make sure it works. Not too tight. Not too loose. You should be able to pull line with medium effort.

Reel fast and be ready!

Yellowtail usually bite fast moving targets, so reel fast.  When they hit it will be large, sudden weight so be ready!

Enjoy the fight

I’ve seen new anglers freak out when they hook their first big fish. It’s only natural. Try to stay calm enough to see what you have to do. Move your feet. Listen to deckhands or friends advice. This will help you land the fish. Don’t forget that it’s a precious experience, so enjoy it.

Thanks readers! I’m sure you have questions. I’d be happy to answer. Geoff@fishtfight.com or leave a comment at the bottom of the site.



  1. Jimi James

    Mega Baits and Flat Falls seem to be hot this season. Tady 45’s and Salas 6x are always a go to for me. Fried egg. Chrome & Blue. Burnt Orange & white. Powder Blue & White. The red crab were so plentiful this season that fin bait wasn’t on the menu for a good while. I got slammed manny times on fast retrieve from the bottom. Pumping the reel 10x drop 20x drop 30x drop surface & drop. I like to yo yo when most the Anglers are fly lining on long soak it’s when I seem to get bent. Yo yo works anytime but it’s expecially Hot when the fin baits not. The Tug is my Drug. Jimi James

    1. Geoff

      Jimi, that’s an excellent description of how we do this yo yo iron fishing. I dig the pump 10x, let it fall. Really makes sense. I also like how you describe when you like to fish this way. Jimi James is a personal friend, and great fisherman. I will be featuring his images and style in an upcoming post. Visit fishtfight.com on Facebook for a preview. Thanks Jimi! Geoff.

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