In Fort Bragg, Rockfishing is an excellent way to spend a day. The Rockfish here average 3 lbs and can get to be 12 lbs or more. Lingcod are normally 12 – 14 lbs, but we have caught them over 40 lbs. Rockfishing is especially great for first timers and children as we usually fish shallow depths with light weight gear. Most experienced fishermen also love Rockfishing and come back year after year in hopes of catching that giant Lingcod and to fill their freezers. With the limit of Rockfish being 10 plus 2 Lingcod and the fact that we catch limits of Rockfish about 90% of the time you are sure to have a great time and hopefully bring back plenty to eat.
The Rockfish and Lingcod that we are fishing for are the most diverse group of fishes found along the Northern Pacific Coast. These fish are often sold in fish markets as “cod” or “red snapper” but they are neither. The Rockfish are members of the genus Sebastes and are a close relative of the Stonefish and Lionfish found in tropical waters. They are also among the most delicious eating fish found in our local waters and voracious predators that provide the sport fisher with an outstanding fishing opportunity.
More Information Rockfish and Lingcod
Rockfish are so diverse that many have specialized their body shape and feeding habits over the eons. These fish are found from intertidal areas to more than 1000 feet. Most are bottom dwellers whose habitat is the rocky reefs found along our coast, hence the name Rockfish. Some, however are schooling mid-water fish, such as the Blue Rockfish and Black Rockfish. These mid-water fish can be found suspended at almost any depth and it is not uncommon for them to be found within ten feet or less of the surface.
The Lingcod is neither a Rockfish nor a “Cod”. They are members of the Greenling family, which includes the Sea Trout. These fish are far and away the most voracious and fearless fish found on the reefs. It is not uncommon for a Lingcod to attack a fish nearly its own size (including each other). They are very territorial and use an ambush technique to strike their prey. Often a Ling will grab a small fish and, even though it is not hooked, it will not relinquish it until it is in the net. These fish are referred to as hitch-hikers and account for a large percentage of the Lingcod caught.