Certainly, current ranks as a major consideration. Yellowtail have a reputation of being fussy eaters, Taylor maintains, but that's because many anglers don't understand the species' environment. "Yellowtail and a lot of other fish that live around structure such as islands or seamounts need some sort of water movement to get the bite going. Current is probably the main thing that coincides with biting fish: no current, no bite," he explains.
A current moving from the north or west or in between is best, in Loomis' experience. But while current is a factor, Loomis says the widely regarded moon phase seems to be less significant. "We've caught yellowtail in all moon phases. Sometimes its easier to catch bait when it's not so bright." But that isn't always true either. Ultimately, all the skippers opt for a good current, warm water (above 65 degrees is the consensus), good water clarity and bird/bait activity that may indicate yellowtail in the area.