Yellowtail Sashimi DIY — Spearfishing Edition

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The yellowtail kingfish, otherwise known as just the Yellowtail, is the big bad fish of the SoCal waters, and the popular makes popular Yellowtail sashimi at sushi restaurants.

Many spearos highly regard the Yellowtail as one of the tougher fish to catch locally.

Spearfishing this species is challenging, but it is quite fun to fish for a Yellowtail catch and cook. There are many ways to enjoy the Yellowtail- from catching, preparing, and eating the notorious fish.

The Yellowtail is a popular sashimi dish worldwide, especially in Japan, and preparing it is easier than catching it.

Here’s a guide on how to catch and sashimi the Yellowtail.

Listen to More Spearfishing Tips on the Cast & Spear Podcast

Spearfishing Yellowtail Kingfish

The key to successfully spearfish the yellowtail is having the right size speargun, enough float with hardline and bungee, the right flasher rigs, and a sharp knife. These fish species can be strong, so you must prepare for the challenging fight.

Once you’ve speared a Yellowtail, consider putting the fish out of its misery. The fish dies instantly by putting your knife behind the head of the yellowtail and pressing in on it.

You can also sting it a little backward between its pectoral fins to allow it to drain blood, killing the fish in seconds. You can perform this while under the water or aboard your boat.

How to Prepare Yellowtail Sashimi

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I’m sure many ways to clean, fillet, and sashimi a Yellowtail exist. But the gist of it all is to make sure you do specific steps in a way that works for you.

Once you get home after spearfishing yellowtail and you plan on making sashimi out of it, here are steps to ensure your catch doesn’t go to waste.

1. Bleed Out

The bleeding-out process should be done right after catching the fish. Hit the back of the head of the yellowtail to kill it and cut backward between its pectoral fins to bleed it out.

2. Gut

With your sharp knife, cut the Yellowtail and remove its inside contents. You can have fun with this step and check out what the fish has been eating before you catch up. If you plan on making sashimi out of a big Yellowtail, it’s best to remove the head before the next step.

3. Brine

After you’ve gutted the fish, pack it in a layer of ice and salt in a cooler. And leave it overnight if you can.

4. Fillet

After you remove the fish from the cooler, place it on your cutting board and remove its collar. Then with your fillet knife, make an initial cut through the skin about half an inch above the spine.

Then, slightly lifts the meat, cut through the fish, and get your knife as close to the skeleton as possible. After you’ve filleted one side, flip your fish and do the same thing with caution.

6. Ice or Enjoy Right After

This step depends solely on you. Now, you may enjoy your Yellowtail sashimi right after cutting the fillet. But other spearos who do catch and cook of this species prefer to ice it down another night before cutting it up.

7. Cut Up and Enjoy

Whether you plan on icing or enjoying it up for the night, prepare your Yellowtail sashimi with a sashimi knife and a regular knife. You want to remove the fish’s skin with your regular knife and the sashimi knife for cutting the fish. After cutting up the fish, bring your wasabi, soy sauce, stringed ginger, and a pair of chopsticks and dig in.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is raw yellowtail healthy?

Yellowtail sushi is one of the prime dishes in Japan, and the species is known to contain vitamins and nutrients. It has a high content of Vitamins A and D and Calcium.

If you’re wondering, listen to Why You Need to STOP Eating Fresh Fish on the Cast & Spear Podcast

Jon Stenstrom
Founder & Angler
Jon Stenstrom is a fishing enthusiast. He has over 25 years of fishing experience, and 6 years of spearfishing experience, and is currently learning how to boat. Jon has his Open Water PADI Certification and FII Freediver Level 1 Certification. Jon has traveled the world to fish and dive, most notably in the Great Barrier Reef, Baja Mexico, Thailand, and Malaysia. More Articles
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