"Baby Rockfish": Southeast Bank Report

Discussion in 'Southern California Inshore & Islands Fish Reports' started by Azarkon, Jun 26, 2017.

  1. Azarkon

    Azarkon I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    Date: 6-25-2017

    Short version: lots of halfbanded rock fish; not much else.

    Long version:

    Been out to the Southeast Bank several times this year, the latest being this Sunday, at the request of friends who wanted to rock fish instead of chasing tuna and yellowtail. I should have convinced them to drift for WSB but to some people 100% chance of catching a few small fish is better than 20% chance of catching a big fish.

    This was not a particularly successful trip - and Southeast Bank trips have not, in general, been very successful in the summer, because the bigger rock fish for whatever reason move off shore into deeper water, and spots that produce well in the spring and fall become a slow pick in the summer.

    However, this doesn't mean the hard bottom areas become a barren waste land. One fish in particular that fully exploits the absence of bigger fish is this little fish, which was holding in large schools at the bank:

    [​IMG]

    I am sure that anyone who bottom fishes in California have caught these before. And every time , including this weekend with my friends, people sniffle and say "poor baby rockfish."

    THESE ARE NOT BABY ROCK FISH.

    These are halfbanded rock fish, which mature at 4 inches and reach their maximum size at 10 inches. Most fish are around 6 inches. They mature quickly - females at just 3 years - and a six inch fish is most likely an adult. They are, consequently, one of the most abundant rock fishes in California. There is no commercial fishery for this fish due to the size, and party boats do not target them for the same reason.

    The reason why I want to make a deal about this, and report on an otherwise unremarkable trip, is because too often I see people shame each other for keeping "baby" fish, and out of ignorance, will almost always discard halfbanded rock fish to avoid the shame of having kept "baby" fish. I had an argument with my friend about this very topic.

    I don't think this is right. First of all, 99% of the times when people discard these fish, they are not using a descending device, so the fish end up dying. Second, the logic involved - "I don't want to keep these fish because it's just a baby" - is flat out wrong. Halfbanded rock fish aren't baby rockfish, they're small, adult rockfish, so either eat them or release them correctly with a descending device.

    And I also hope, at the same time, people on party boats and at docks will stop shaming other people over these fish. I've seen it and it's just stupid. Halfbanded rock fish is one of the most abundant and least exploited species in our waters. If someone wants to fill a limit of rock fish with them, it's their business.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2017
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  2. plj46

    plj46 I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    Baby killer.
     
  3. Hismosa

    Hismosa I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    Not worth the time/effort/money for those bite sized filets. I think you're taking "baby sized" far too literal.
     
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  4. Azarkon

    Azarkon I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    Many more ways to cook a fish than to filet, although I agree that they're not worth targeting. It's like sand dabs - some people sniffle and some people take them seriously. I simply want to correct the image that they're a baby version of another fish, so as to avoid arguments about them at the dock or on party boats.
     
  5. plj46

    plj46 I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    They're so abundant i don't think i've ever seen or caught one.Where is the southeast bank ?
     
  6. Azarkon

    Azarkon I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    Numbers I have are 33.35.82 / 118.06.79, but it's a general vicinity. It's south and west of the three oil rigs east of the 150, along the 50 fathom contour.

    Every time I've been there I've caught halfbanded rock fish when I stopped on meter clouds. I'm sure others have had the same experience. They're one of the most visible fish on the meter due to their school size.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2017
  7. wils

    wils lazy-ass well known "member"

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    You're assuming that everyone at the dock or on party boats is going to read this thread? If not, figure out how to deal with it face-to-face at the dock or on party boats. ;)
     
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  8. KID CREOLE

    KID CREOLE I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    Big baits, big fish
     
  9. cortezpirasea

    cortezpirasea Pangero

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    Forget it. People can't even use their turn signals on cars...
     
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  10. sbyaker

    sbyaker Yachty by nature

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    Every yt I caught on the local deep water spots a few years back were plugged with those things. Nasty sting too.
     
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  11. Azarkon

    Azarkon I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    Come to think of it, they might make nice bait.
     
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  12. fishsmith

    fishsmith Captain

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    The old "I got a tiny rockfish" issue...
     
  13. Pgnracr

    Pgnracr Member

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    Yes yellows in winter slam those!!!! So do ling cod
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2017
  14. the SLIDER

    the SLIDER https://multimediabylj.com

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    Small Rockfish Syndrome (SRS), I guessing
     
  15. Kennymac17

    Kennymac17 Newbie

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    When I am bottom or rock fishing I am targeting anything that bites. You never know what is really down there, you can catch 10 or more different species. I'm sure I have caught some of these small fish and I hate it but it happens, Check this video
     
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  16. cody martin

    cody martin Newbie

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    Personally . Biger bait biger fish when Rick fishing. Meening long cod
     
  17. mandoman68

    mandoman68 Big Loco

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    I'm my neck of the woods. You starting with that sh it again? Maybe if you were a fisherman you would know. Lol.
     
  18. mandoman68

    mandoman68 Big Loco

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    I know that bank well. It fishes better on a downhill current. Avoid clouds of fish, live squid WORKS BEST FOR BIG REDS that live there. Big swells make it tough to fish. Fish the spots that show only a few marks. Afternoon is best. Good luck
     
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