June into December

Rockfish takes place from May or June into about December.  The State of California and Federal groups such as the PFMC regulate the season.  That are a large number of fish that may be caught while fishing for Rockfish.  Blues, Blacks, Yellowtails, Olives, Vermillions, Coppers, China Cod, Black and Yellow, Rosy Rockfish, Cabezon and Ling Cod are among the fish that you may go home with.   An occasional Halibut is taken on Rockfish trips.  For an identification poster, visit

The current limit is 10 Rockfish.  Individual bag limits may have 1 Cabezon, 1 Boccacio, and 2 Lingcod.  For current regulations, click here to visit DFG's web site:  Depth is restricted, as are areas where we may fish.  Generally, shrimp flies such as BlackBelt are a good choice to target Rockfish.  Some folks use plastic swim baits, or tails such as Fish Traps.  Some anglers like to use diamond bars.  Weight for the shrimp fly rigs is usually from about 6 ounces to one pound, depending on current, wind and depth being fished.

Rockfish live over hard bottom such as rocky reefs or slate type hard bottom.  Some of the fish are bottom dwellers or "hardheads" (Reds, Coppers), some dwell more in the water column, also called "school fish" (Blues, Blacks, Yellows, Olives).


click photo to enlarge

It is truly a thrill dropping a line down, wondering what type of fish will be interested in your presentation. 

Rockfish trips generally depart at 6 or 7am and return by 3 pm, earlier if the boat catches limits.  A deckhand is usually present and may offer to fillet your fish for a small fee.  Deckhands depend on tips as part of their income, like waiters and waitresses.

Rockfishing takes place in depths up to 180 feet.  An Exempted Fishery Permit may let anglers try depths in excess of 1800 feet!  For that, a two speed reel loaded with 30 to 50 pound Spectra will definitely be of value.