Yellowfin Croaker

Average Weight/Length

The California State record is 2.1 pounds.

Location Habitat

Yellowfin are croakers like many of their cousins that swim the beaches of Southern Cal. Springtime through the summer bring them to the beaches and bays by the thousands. Yellowfin are the most caught of the surf fishes right along side the barreds. Yellowfin are easily the most frequent biters of all. They bite at any time of the tides. They are caught anywhere in the shallow waters of the coast. Found in shallow sandy areas, often in surf zones, bays and tidal sloughs. Feed on fishes, crustaceans, marine worms and bivalves. Often caught by surf fishers. Pelagic spawners

Biology & Physical Description

Yellowfins have shiny gray, green or bluish backs with white bellies and a series of diagonal yellow brown stripes on their backs. There is a pronounced barbel on the chin. Their fin color can be a dark yellow brown to a brilliant canary yellow color.

Life Cycle & Mating Behavior

Oviparous. Pelagic spawner

Geographic Species Map ( Map)

Summary of Distribution: Yellowfin range from San Francisco to the Gulf of California but are rarely taken above Ventura, California. Eastern Central Pacific: Point Conception in California, USA to the Gulf of California; old records from as far north as San Francisco, California.

Note: Distribution range colors indicate degree of suitability of habitat which can be interpreted as probabilities of occurrence (

Sport Fishing Techniques

Kite Fishing (Trolling)

Kite Fishing Trolling is when you are....


Trawling is when....

Tackle & Baits

If the surf is where you wish to fish the yellowfin then remember that it takes long casts to reach them. In this case you should use a long rod with light #15 pound test line so that you can really throw the bait great distances. You can use light tackle in the bays and off the piers. Their favorite food is live anchovies but readily take any bait that you can put in front of them. Casting great distance calls for bait that will stay on the hook and not get thrown off. Blood worms and ghost shrimp are probably the best for this application. You can enjoy some real tackle busting fun if you can get a boat into their zone and fish with artificials. They love to hit small plugs, rubber grubs and small barracuda feathers. Trolling these artificials can sometimes really catch them.

Game Rating

Game Rating : 6/10

Game Description :

Yellowfins are prime targets for many pier fishermen and surf fishermen. They hit the bait very hard and fight with reckless abandon. This is especially true when artificials are used. Halibut anglers using live anchovies for bait, catch many incidental yellowfin.

Food Rating

Game Rating : 4/10

Game Description :

These fish can have firm white filets of delectable quality. They can also assume a strong iodine taste. Apparently this taste is most prevalent in the middle of their spawn. Sometimes it¹s so strong you can detect the smell as you remove the hook from the fresh caught fish.

Picture (Fish)