Deep Sea fishing in January

Jan 26, 2020
45
45
50
Maine
Name
scott charlton
Boat
noboat
I live in Maine, and I wanted to know what other parts of the country do when it comes to fishing in the winter? Currently there is one party boat that fishes into January, and if the bite continues to be as strong as it is, then I anticipate it will continue to go into February. The video below is from two weeks ago. I can't begin to mention how deep sea fishing has changed in my lifetime. When I was a teenager in the '80s, most boats only caught one or two haddock in a summer. Today, the entire boat limited in 2 hours. Other species have been not so lucky...

 
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Capt.C.Delany

The only fishing I do is trolling the Internet
  • Jun 22, 2014
    1,431
    1,791
    No Grave But the Sea
    Name
    Hugh Jassole / The Porcelain Punisher
    Boat
    Paddy Wagon 24' Skippy
    Right now here in southern California is pretty much our slowest time of year but there is always something to do.

    For instance, once the bite on the pelagic fish (tuna, kelp paddy yellowtail, dorado) dies and the inshore action dries up people will switch to fishing rockfish. Coincidentally this is typically when we get our storms and the water rolls over. Right around early to mid-November. That is not to say there aren't some tuna still scattered around or there is nothing to catch inshore, the volume of fish caught is just decreased compared to say August, September and October for various reasons. (migration, cold water shock etc.) The rockfish season closes on Jan 1. and will re-open on March 1st. During this closed time guys can still fish Sculpin. (California Scorpion Fish)

    In October (well this season on Sept. 28) Lobster season opened which is typically done at night and runs until mid-March. For the recreational angler you can dive for them or use hoop nets.

    In March you will start seeing more guys going out to the islands looking for White Sea Bass.

    So to boil it all down to what most are doing right now in California waters, hoop netting at night, fishing sculpin and some guys are putting together decent days fishing bass inshore.

    Some guys hoping on Sportboats (party boats, head boats) fishing in Mexican waters for rockfish.

    Hope that summed it up. I am sure others will chime in.
     
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    Jan 26, 2020
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    Maine
    Name
    scott charlton
    Boat
    noboat
    Thank you for the valuable info I wasn’t aware of the timeframes that rockfishing was closed I will most likely hit a charter boat from San Diego soon
    Right now here in southern California is pretty much our slowest time of year but there is always something to do.

    For instance, once the bite on the pelagic fish (tuna, kelp paddy yellowtail, dorado) dies and the inshore action dries up people will switch to fishing rockfish. Coincidentally this is typically when we get our storms and the water rolls over. Right around early to mid-November. That is not to say there aren't some tuna still scattered around or there is nothing to catch inshore, the volume of fish caught is just decreased compared to say August, September and October for various reasons. (migration, cold water shock etc.) The rockfish season closes on Jan 1. and will re-open on March 1st. During this closed time guys can still fish Sculpin. (California Scorpion Fish)

    In October (well this season on Sept. 28) Lobster season opened which is typically done at night and runs until mid-March. For the recreational angler you can dive for them or use hoop nets.

    In March you will start seeing more guys going out to the islands looking for White Sea Bass.

    So to boil it all down to what most are doing right now in California waters, hoop netting at night, fishing sculpin and some guys are putting together decent days fishing bass inshore.

    Some guys hoping on Sportboats (party boats, head boats) fishing in Mexican waters for rockfish.

    Hope that summed it up. I am sure others will chime in.
    Thank you very much for that. I had no idea sculpin were available on the west coast. From the shore are you pretty much limited to rockfish?
     
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    Capt.C.Delany

    The only fishing I do is trolling the Internet
  • Jun 22, 2014
    1,431
    1,791
    No Grave But the Sea
    Name
    Hugh Jassole / The Porcelain Punisher
    Boat
    Paddy Wagon 24' Skippy
    From the shore are you pretty much limited to rockfish?

    Fishing from the shore can be pretty productive and actually has a cult like following. You can catch different kinds of perch, halibut, bass, corvina (depending on location). If you fish in rocky locations like off the jetty you have a decent chance of catching bass, sheephead and leopard shark. (Don't know much about specifics of surf fishing as I have done it only a handful of times.)

    Our rockfish out here is typically done in 100-300' of water. Being tight to the bottom, these fish are less affected by water temp drops as opposed to say inshore species which are going to be in the top 1-100' of the water column.
     
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    Jan 26, 2020
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    Maine
    Name
    scott charlton
    Boat
    noboat
    I remember in the mid-90s, I lived in LA for about 5 months. I went to the Santa Monica pier, and I believe I saw someone catch a leopard shark. I'm extremely impressed that you have such a diverse fish collection from sure. In Maine, you pretty much catch Stripers, maybe mackerel or harbor pollock,, an occasional sculpin. If it has been raining for a week, you are likely to get a flounder, but that's about it.
     
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    sdrepairman

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    Jul 2, 2012
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    1,593
    san diego
    Name
    nick
    Boat
    n/a
    The sport boats going to Mexico right now have been good for rock fish
    Not much action locally though
    I would suggest a 3/4 day trip ( or longer)if you can
    also the piers in San Diego can be fun but that is a lot more random and a different story
     
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    Northeastfshman

    I see OJ
  • Dec 20, 2008
    2,535
    2,294
    San Clemente
    Name
    Brett Weinberg
    Boat
    Parker 2120SCDV
    Haddock fishing! Tasty little buggers!

    I used to fish or work in Montauk in the winter for Cod/Hake/Pollack trips. Brutally brutally cold fishing by Coxes ledge 30-40 miles offshore but for 10 years that cod bite was simple unreal so the boats ran and ran and ran were all just jammed. We'd leave at 2 AM, get the grounds in the dark around 4:30 and start breaking ice off the rods etc... Bummer you guys can't fish for cod in the GOM anymore and have to stick to just Haddock.

    Biggest shocker for me moving to SoCal was the great weather in the winter but the lack of fishing opportunities. Our bottom fishing is closed until March because of regulations. Some years we do have great halibut fishing in the winter but just as frequently we don't. You can certainly still catch our small inshore bass species on deeper rocks/reefs but not like the summer fishery. I used to shark fish in the winter to get by. The Blue Shark fishing was consistently great with the occasional little mako mixed in but I haven't done that in 6 or 7 years now.
     
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    Jan 26, 2020
    45
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    Maine
    Name
    scott charlton
    Boat
    noboat
    ...I'm really kicking myself for not doing an offshore trip when I lived in LA...But, the GOM is really nice. On a trip I took in November, we were all surprised as 4 foot porbeagle (in the family of mako) decided to hit everyone's line for 10 seconds each. Finally one guy got him to surface, but he spit the hook before pix could be snapped. The pollock bite in October...Oh man...My arms hurt for a week, and I was eating fish into the spring.

     
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    Northeastfshman

    I see OJ
  • Dec 20, 2008
    2,535
    2,294
    San Clemente
    Name
    Brett Weinberg
    Boat
    Parker 2120SCDV
    ...I'm really kicking myself for not doing an offshore trip when I lived in LA...But, the GOM is really nice. On a trip I took in November, we were all surprised as 4 foot porbeagle (in the family of mako) decided to hit everyone's line for 10 seconds each. Finally one guy got him to surface, but he spit the hook before pix could be snapped. The pollock bite in October...Oh man...My arms hurt for a week, and I was eating fish into the spring.



    The only problem with Pollack fishing is you have to eat the Pollack after lol. Great Porbeagle fishing up there in the fall/winter/spring. I used to do an Eastman's trip every now and again and back when you could fish Cod in June I used to do a Bunny Clarke trip. That first week of June would be straight jumbo 30/40/50lb fish. You can google some of those old trips they were epic.
     
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    Jan 26, 2020
    45
    45
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    Maine
    Name
    scott charlton
    Boat
    noboat
    Man it’s like you are just down the street from me! Eastmans is my go to, love the bunny Clark but don’t like the fellow passengers. Mates are great though! Pollock is great! Deep fry the hell out of it and cake it in tarter sauce! Bunny Clark stil holds the state of Maine cod record.
     
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