California Rockfish – New 450 Feet Maximum Depth Limit

New depths = new trophy shots in DEEP waters

2019 depth limit is now 75 fathoms (450 feet)

Prior limit was 60 fathoms (360 feet)

Direct from the CA DFW Website, “The recreational fishery for rockfish is open year-round to divers and shore-based anglers.The fishery is closed to boat-based anglers from January 1, 2019 through February 28, 2019. These species may only be taken or possessed in waters less than 450 feet (75 fathoms) deep. The daily bag and possession limit is 10 fish in combination of all species within the RCG Complex (includes all species of Rockfish, Cabezon and Greenlings) per person, with a sub-limit on black rockfish (3 per person) and canary rockfish (2 per person), also included in the 10 fish RCG Complex aggregate limit. Yelloweye, bronzespotted rockfish, and cowcod may not be retained (bag limit: zero). When filleting fish on a vessel, the fillet must have the entire skin attached.

Rockfish are part of a group of fish known as groundfish, which includes over 90 species that live on or near the bottom of the ocean (with a few exceptions).”

California Department of Fish and Wildlife have increased the maximum fishing depth for rockfish in the state from the previous 360 feet (60 fathoms) to 450 feet (75 fathoms).

What species do we target on our rockfish trips?

  • Red Vermillion
  • Chilipeppers
  • Coppers
  • Boccacio
  • Sheepshead
  • Lingcod
  • Halibut
  • Sandbass
  • Yellowtail

Usually we are actively fishing heavy flat fall and other lures with strips of squid attached. Lures in the 200gram and larger category will help decrease the time it takes to hit the bottom and get to the fish. Utilizing reels with large line pickup per crank also makes the fishing more fun with less work turning the handle.

A lot of people are pretty excited about the regulation change as this will greatly increase the opportunity for quality rockfish off the coast and at the islands. It will be interesting to see what kind of trophies show up due to the new regulations!

Nice size reds off Huntington Beach, CA