How to Fish for Black Rockfish

How to Fish for Black RockfishIf you've ever had the English classic fish and chips, then the odds are good that you've had rockfish, as this is the primary choice for fish and chips. Rockfish comes in a variety of different styles, including black rockfish, which is primarily found on the West Coast and also goes by the name black snapper, red snapper and black bass. Fishing for black rockfish involves finding the right spot on the water and using the right bait.


Difficulty: Moderate

How to:

Things You’ll Need:
  • Artificial lures
  • Heavy fishing line
  • Octopus
  • Shrimp
  • Squid
Step 1
Fish in areas close to the shore and areas with a water depth of 30 feet or less. While some types of rockfish feed in larger depths, the black rockfish prefers more shallow waters. Black rockfish are common in rock beds and around kelp beds or other areas with debris scattered around.
Step 2
Wait for a slow tide. Black rockfish prefer the slower tides because faster tides may wash the fish out. With faster tides and currents, you not only risk losing the fish, but also your position on the water. The fish tend to stay in one area and only move if the tide forces them away from their location.
Step 3
Use artificial lures such as plastic worms. The lifelike motion of the artificial lures tricks the rockfish by making them think it's live bait. Place your lures on a heavier fishing line of at least 30 pounds, as the rockfish are large fish and may break a smaller line.
Step 4
Alternate your artificial lures with live bait. A few types of bait that work well when fishing for black rockfish include octopus, shrimp, squid and nearly any type of seafood. Cut the bait into smaller, bite size chunks and attach directly to the line.
Step 5
Take your time and fish slowly, using the appropriate method. Drop the line directly into the water until you feel it touch the bottom of the water. Then slowly jiggle the line, which causes the bait to move and then slowly bring the line back. As soon as you feel the black rockfish bite, pull back hard and fast, before the fish has a chance to escape.

Tips & Warnings

Keep a fish club on hand. When you reel in the black rockfish, hit it over the head once to stun it, if the fish puts up a fight. Then transfer the fish directly to a cooler full of ice until you plan on using it.

Article Written By Jennifer Eblin

Jennifer Eblin has been a full-time freelance writer since 2006. Her work has appeared on several websites, including Tool Box Tales and Zonder. Eblin received a master's degree in historic preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design.

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