Article: Rockfishing in Central California
Central California Rockfishing: Locations, Tackle, and tips
on how to catch (continued)
Lures: This is yet another section that can
have its own chapter. There are many lures made for rockfishing that vary in
size, color, and styles for vertical fishing, and then there are custom rigs that
people like to come up with.
A shrimp fly can be made of many
types of material, but most are very simple in design and still very effective
Let's begin with the basic, shrimp flies. These
are very popular and one very effective lure in catching both rockfish sitting
at the bottom or suspended. You can simply buy these pre-rigged or individually,
and some anglers even spice these up with additional plastics such as tubes or
teaser worms used for bass fishing.
Here's a Megabait Live Jig that
has gone through a lot of bottom bouncing for rockcod
Irons, jigs, hex bars, whatever you want to call them,
are a must have lure for rockfishing. These jigs are usually molded out of lead
and come in many sizes, shape, and patterns. Some have a treble hook and some
have a single hook, and stinger hooks can be added at the top for greater
chances of hook up. Any of these metal jigs will catch rockfish but they all
have different action when lured. Some have more action than others and those
are the ones you want to have in your tackle box. Some of my favorites are the Megabait Live Jig, Shimano Butterfly jig, Sumo Irons, diamond jigs, and
River2Sea Knife jigs and Sea Rock jigs.
A big Grass rockcod caught in
Shrimp flies and jigs can and will catch big fish
but for those anglers who are only targeting large rockcod and lingcod they
would toss a soft plastic on a heavy lead-head/jighead. A lead jighead would be
rigged with a large plastic tube bait, squid, grub, or a swimbait. Run these
along the bottom and you'll be rewarded with a nice sized catch.
Jigs come in all colors and sizes.
The shapes will determine the action of the lure
There are many lures you can buy to bottom fish
but those anglers that like to play prefer customized lures and rigs to increase
their catch ratio. Some anglers would use a metal jig at the bottom while a foot
or two above they would add a shrimp fly or hoochie as a teaser, or to just
target suspended fish at the same time bouncing the bottom with the iron to
catch those bottom dwellers. Jigs can also be customized with different paint
jobs, glow in the dark tape and also other reflective tapes cut and placed onto
the lures. There are many lure choices today with every lure being effective,
now all the angler has to do is choose which one matches their technique and
produces the best results.
Shimano is designing a new rockcod
fishing system call the Lucanus Jig System, employing a squid or bug-like jig
shown above along with an introduction of a new rod and reel to match the game
Baits: Aside from working lures you can use
live or frozen baits. Live or dead anchovies, frozen squid, and other local bait
fish can be used to target rockcod. The traditional three way live bait leader
used for halibut or striped bass fishing is the most popular setup which can be
bought or custom made.
Rockfish find livebait such as
these anchovies irresistible
When fishing with rookie fishermen I like to set
them up on shrimp flies tipped with frozen squid. This will give them a lot of
action even on slower days making the trip more fun and memorable.
Must have gear and additional tips