Pt Loma 10/25: Rockfish Limits for 3 in Two Hours

PENN

Halibut Howie

1987 Cabo 216
May 22, 2003
997
970
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Name
Halibut Howie
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1987 Cabo 216/F150 "Have Not Blown-up Yet!"
Once Mexico instituted their recent visa program I decided to fish exclusively in USA waters. It just did not seem practical to me to pay the daily visa rate fishing in their country once or twice a week especially with guests onboard. This new angle to fishing has been quite productive for me in that I fished many new areas and found many new hotspots in our beautiful local waters, like yesterday.

I've occasionally fished this area of the Whistler for the past 20 years. Over the past 6 months or so it has been quite barren with only an occasional fish here and there. Even the party boats only caught about 2 rockfish per pole the day before. I invited my golf partner and his friend to fish this area yesterday. He had to be back home by noon so we fished locally. We were the only boat out there yesterday. We started out in the usual area on the top of the bank at 105'. To my surprise there were small rockfish on most of the areas we drifted over. Not large rockfish, most less than a lb, but there were fish there none the less. A good sign that perhaps the fish are back to start winter fishing close in to SD Bay. This area is also a pathway for large navy vessels coming into the bay and one of them caused me to relocate. I headed NW into deeper waters at 135' just off the top of the bank in an area I have a few WPs. My MO is to drop down on a rocky bottom and drift marking any bite I have along the way. After a bunch of bites or fish you see a pattern of where the fish are. Then I no longer use the FF, just the map. Almost immediately we hook up with larger fish, 1-3 lbs, mainly reds with an occasional sculpin and sheephead (both returned) along with most other shallow water rockfish including a 16" calico and a 21 1/2" lingcod (returned). One guy fished exclusively with an Ed jig similar to a Jax jig from up north of here and myself with a 2-hook ganglion with squid. No live bait: another option I'm boycotting due to the price increases at the bait barge. If I need live bait I just catch it with my secret fish attractant I learned from a local Hawaiian fisherman while working in Hilo for a few months this year. As usual we had a competition on who could catch the most fish. All Ed jig fish were the larger models but they were hit and miss while my method produced a steady haul on almost every drift probably out fishing him 3:1. The other guy caught 2 fish all day with his method of rockfishing.

Consequently, after drifting over this new hotspot we reached our limits of 30 rockfish in 2 hours and headed in at 0930 leaving them voraciously biting our hooks, mainly mine. Total cost for the trip was $5 for squid and 3-4 gal gas which we divvied up amongst us. My 2- hook ganglion consisted of a $1.25 forty lb mono-leader (also make a steel one) from Walmart with snaps to hold the hooks and bottom weight, #2 long shaft wire freshwater bait hooks ($5 for 50 hooks) and a triangle shaped 3" long piece of squid. The Walmart leader allows the squid triangles to horizontally flutter like a lure as I gently move them up and down like a school of squid. I've caught halibut this year with this fishing method as well as keeper lingcod. IMO this setup out fishes any 2 hook baja loop I've fished with. Perhaps its all the chrome of the snaps, swivels and the red beads as well as the swivels sandwiched between red beads that allow the hooks to freely rotate around the leader. But to an ole sea salt like me "proof is in the pudding".

Sweet and sour whole rockfish for dinner tonight.
http://www.bdoutdoors.com/forums/threads/sweet-and-sour-whole-rockfish.53677/
HH
 
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Tunaslam

I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
Apr 25, 2003
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Cory Visser
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Great shallow water fishing, congrats! For that depth I prefer plastics tipped with squid, or a Lusainous (knock off) also tipped with squid. Way to go guys!
 
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MikeyLikesIt

did you say FISHING ???
Feb 24, 2003
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starts with an "M".....
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Ed's jigs work? LOL

Nice write up.....we do pretty much the same thing as far as picking up the pattern to where the fish are.......

.........but we use ONLY Ed's Jigs. :D
 
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Azarkon

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Aug 28, 2015
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The only reason not to fish with dead squid when it comes to rock fish, is that it's too easy. You can fish with plastic or iron when the water's calm but as soon as there's current, it takes a lot of skill to make it move the right way.

Although I have always been curious whether anyone has tried using less standard bait, and what their results are. For example, mussel. Anyone tried it?
 
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RenoG

Mission Bay - Campland 25' Larson Cabin Boat
Sep 2, 2016
112
76
43
Poway, CA
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Reno G
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Sea Sea Rider
Nice write up. If you like fishing, and you like CATCHING and you like eating fish, the nearshore is where the fish are at.

I used the wal mart wire double droppers with snaps and beads; but those snaps are too tough for me. I bought Hurricane double dropper rigs on Amazon $4 for 10 and just push on a hook over the loop, snap a sinker on the bottom; easy rockfishing with squid or anchovy from Wally World.

I'm glad only you and me know about this; Me and a buddy pulled about 30 rockfish, calicos, barracuda, and bonito in La Jolla in a few hours on the evening bite. We have a lot of fish dinners lined up with our rockfish recipes.

But... let's try to keep this quiet. If other fishermen find out about this we could lose the advantage. If people knew they could fish near home and catch a boatload; nobody is going to spend $150 a person to go hunt for tuna and have a 50/50 chance of bringing something home to eat!

So, while they are putting their Sta-bil in their boats and winterizing, and thinking about what a good or bad season of fishing it was... you and me just keep fishing those rockies; and it can be our little secret to show off to impress friends that we're "better than sportboat" captains of the sea.

Tight lines...

Reno
 
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kevina

I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
  • Sep 10, 2006
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    Nice write up. If you like fishing, and you like CATCHING and you like eating fish, the nearshore is where the fish are at.

    I used the wal mart wire double droppers with snaps and beads; but those snaps are too tough for me. I bought Hurricane double dropper rigs on Amazon $4 for 10 and just push on a hook over the loop, snap a sinker on the bottom; easy rockfishing with squid or anchovy from Wally World.

    I'm glad only you and me know about this; Me and a buddy pulled about 30 rockfish, calicos, barracuda, and bonito in La Jolla in a few hours on the evening bite. We have a lot of fish dinners lined up with our rockfish recipes.

    But... let's try to keep this quiet. If other fishermen find out about this we could lose the advantage. If people knew they could fish near home and catch a boatload; nobody is going to spend $150 a person to go hunt for tuna and have a 50/50 chance of bringing something home to eat!

    So, while they are putting their Sta-bil in their boats and winterizing, and thinking about what a good or bad season of fishing it was... you and me just keep fishing those rockies; and it can be our little secret to show off to impress friends that we're "better than sportboat" captains of the sea.

    Tight lines...

    Reno
    I will not tell anyone about your secret!!! Let's just hope no one else reads this article.
     
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    Halibut Howie

    1987 Cabo 216
    May 22, 2003
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    Halibut Howie
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    1987 Cabo 216/F150 "Have Not Blown-up Yet!"
    I first joined BDs back in 2003 shortly after it was established. Back then it was a R-Rated fishing site with fowl language and naked pictures. It was really different from any other fishing website of the time and consequently attracted many new followers in droves to ogle at the pics and offer fowl mouthed depictions of their fishing adventures. I was dismayed that it was almost exclusively about offshore fishing and more bravado than practical advice on where and how to catch fish especially local fishing. I and a few others started posting about our exploits and techniques about local fishing around the san diego area. Soon more and more people joined the site and offered their advice on local fishing and locations on where and how they catch fish. The rest is history including the expansion of the site from a san diego based site to now nationally. I thank BDs for their insight to offer a platform for not only offshore fishing but local close-in fishing as well.

    In most of my post I not only offer how I caught fish that day but clues on where the fish were caught. From that advice a novice or new to the area fishermen, especially the kids, can have at least a fighting chance to have a wonderful fish dinner at a cost most can afford. Plus san diego is so beautiful looking at its topography for the local waters.

    From the post above shows me that the winter fish are arriving but also approximately where the fish are that day. This hot spot is etched as WPs for future use. If you already know the Whistler area you should be able to find the general area where the majority of these fish were caught and search for your own WPs that hold fish. I was really surprised we caught a 16" calico in 135' of water with no kelp around and also the amount of reds in that specific spot without any noticeable rock piles. Many of the fish I cleaned last night had small shrimp in their bellies. I always leave the fish on ice for a day (turns to ice & water) before filleting them. This allows the blood to draw back into the gills and thus softens the meat to a snow white velvety color and texture. Just imagine if you were fileted alive how tense your muscles would be with coagulated blood in-between the muscle fibers. I put the carcasses in the freezer until the next trash pickup day or next fishing trip for redistribution.

    IMO there is no better eating fish than shallow water rockfish in the USA. I've eaten fish from all areas of the USA with my business travels and vacations for many many years, just coming back from the gulf eating fresh fish almost daily for a month along the coasts of TX, LA and AL. These small tasty local rockfish melt in your mouth no matter how you prepare them.

    HH
     
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    fisherman11

    Almost A Member
    Apr 29, 2012
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    dan smith
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    sea witch
    Great posts. There are probably many other readers like me who don't have a boat and won't be taking advantage of the info, but it is great to read and dream anyway.
     
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    matta57

    hack
    May 30, 2010
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    The only reason not to fish with dead squid when it comes to rock fish, is that it's too easy. You can fish with plastic or iron when the water's calm but as soon as there's current, it takes a lot of skill to make it move the right way.

    Although I have always been curious whether anyone has tried using less standard bait, and what their results are. For example, mussel. Anyone tried it?
    Its not very unconventional, but rather than squid I prefer to use mackerel chunks. Works great. FWIW
     
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    RenoG

    Mission Bay - Campland 25' Larson Cabin Boat
    Sep 2, 2016
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    Reno G
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    Sea Sea Rider
    when in doubt; mashed up sandwich bread is about 3/4 as good as squid; and still cheaper. plus, you can eat some then mold it onto a hook. no fishy smells; works great for the ladies. LOL.
     
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    Steve Dee

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    Oct 5, 2015
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    Grady White 180 - "Running with Scissors"
    I'd like to know more about the secret fish attractant from HI. Guaranty I'm no threat to your success. X2 on the bait price increase.
     
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    FloMar

    Hired Gun!
    Apr 28, 2004
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    Once Mexico instituted their recent visa program I decided to fish exclusively in USA waters. It just did not seem practical to me to pay the daily visa rate fishing in their country once or twice a week especially with guests onboard.

    Completely agree.

    Pictures are great, I'm hungry now, great report!!!
     
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    Azarkon

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    Aug 28, 2015
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    Rock fish is excellent for the table, but is it better than halibut and wsb? I think an argument could be made for all three. But in my opinion, sablefish wins them all. Too bad they're considered ground fish so you can't deep drop for them. Still can get them from time to time in 300 feet or in Mexico.
     
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    Phat Boat

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    Apr 18, 2004
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    Thanks for the report. I think E bros learned a valuable lesson in capitalism, one can raise prices and make less money. i bought wayyyyyy less bait this year. In this report the bait cost would have doubled the cost of this trip.
     
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    SaltH20Angler

    I'm not superstitious... cuz it's bad luck.
  • Aug 6, 2016
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    I know a couple guys...
    Nice writeup, but for some reason i thought the limit on rockfish was three. Can someone clarify for me?
     
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    Pgnracr

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    Sep 3, 2014
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    Yes great point only a few weeks left of rockfishing. Then it's Mexico or LR or maybe YT or Bass.
     
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