Andrew Hodd made his best score for the county while valuable contributions from Azeem Rafiq and Jack Brooks saw them recover from 51-6 to be bowled out for 282 at North Marine Road.
They then reduced the visitors to 38-2 at close to end the day 244 ahead.
With Nottinghamshire captain Chris Read having opted against a toss and chosen to field first, Yorkshire’s openers looked in little trouble until the somewhat fortunate dismissal of Adam Lyth.
The left-hander was left stranded as Steven Mullaney deflected a drive onto the stumps at the non-striker’s end, and his wicket sparked an almighty collapse that saw five more fall for just 30 runs.
Mullaney – who had previously only taken five Championship wickets in 2016 – proved to be the unlikely hero with the ball as he drew edges from both Lees and Jake Lehmann that were taken in the slip cordon.
From the other end Luke Fletcher was rewarded for a tight new ball spell with the wicket of Gary Ballance – who is captaining the Tykes due to a back injury suffered by Andrew Gale – before Mullaney picked up his third as Tim Bresnan offered no shot and was adjudged LBW.
Jack Leaning followed back to the pavilion after hanging a loose bat out to a wide Brett Hutton delivery and edging to Samit Patel at third slip to leave the hosts reeling with half an hour of the morning session to play.
But from there Hodd and Rafiq took over as they put together a partnership of 132 for the seventh wicket, with the latter being the main aggressor as he made an eye-catching 74 from just 92 deliveries with 11 fours just hours after being presented with his county cap by club president John Hampshire.
He was eventually dismissed by the final ball of Patel’s first over, and though Steven Patterson was trapped LBW by Imran Tahir, the Tykes were far from done yet as Brooks looked to tuck into anything loose that an attack shorn of the injured Harry Gurney and Stuart Broad, as well as late England call-up Jake Ball, delivered.
He bludgeoned his way to 48 from 66 balls during a stand of 88 with Hodd before chopping onto his own stumps while looking to cut Hutton away to bring up his fifty.
Ryan Sidebottom then fell victim to the second new ball as Hutton wrapped him on the pads to end the innings on 282 and leave Hodd unbeaten on an excellent 96.
Brooks then helped maintain the momentum as he trapped Jake Libby LBW with his first ball of the visitors’s reply before debutant Tom Moores edged Bresnan’s second ball to Lyth at second slip in the final over.