Swim Baits for Yellowtail and Dorado

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By Mike Rude, October 1, 2013

If you haven’t gotten in on the great Bluefin, Yellowfin, Dorado and Yellowtail bite yet, now is the time to go! As I mentioned in last month’s newsletter, there’s tons of yellowtail and Dorado out there ranging in size from 5 to 20+ lbs. on the kelps. We’ve been fortunate enough to take a few trips and fishing has been great each time.  Yellowtail and Dorado love the swim baits. What’s really nice about throwing swim baits is, as the boat is slowly coming up on the kelp, you can be the first fisherman to throw your bait out as you’re going to be at the bow ready to throw. Make sure to take into account where the boat is going to slide to after your cast. In other words, make sure you cast to the “far” bow side of the kelp so when your swim bait is sinking, your line isn’t in the way of the bait fishermen. If you like to use spinning tackle, that works great in this situation. For those of you who use conventional tackle, you don’t need a long cast for this technique as the captain normally slides very close to the kelp, easily within casting distance even with a lighter jig head/swim bait. In addition, you don’t need to make much of a cast at all. Simply flip the swim bait out and let it sink. You will frequently get bit on the sink. Let your swim bait sink quite a distance as you want a long retrieve to allow the fish to see the bait and attack it on the retrieve. A fast retrieve can be very effective, even when being retrieved at a somewhat vertical angle. A common mistake in fishing swim baits is not letting them sink enough before the retrieve.

You can use your standard jig sticks or tuna gear that you would use for bait fishing since long casts are not critical in this type of fishing. It certainly doesn’t hurt if you have tackle appropriate for making long casts while throwing swim baits on ¾ to 1.5 oz jig heads. The fish have been biting the heavier line and I would recommend you use at least 30 lb test when using monofilament. If you’re going to use braid/spectra, use the white or yellow as it’s much easier to see. If you have braid on and aren’t getting bit, use a short mono leader (approx 18”) with your braid.

Whether casting swim baits or fishing on the slide, I prefer to use the 5” size of the following Rude Baits swim bait colors, listed in order of preference for yellowtail and Dorado: Kelp Krusher, Purple Passion Mean Sardine, Salty Sardine, Smoke Dawg, Cherry Bomb, Coastal Classic and Aztec.    https://www.rudebaits.com/products/swim-baits/

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