Category Archives: Creature Features

Creature Feature: Pacific Halibut

Pacific halibutReminder: The recreational Pacific halibut season closed on August 13, 2015.

The Pacific halibut ranges from Santa Rosa Island northward off California, but most are found north of Fort Bragg. They may be found from 20 to 3,600 ft. depths, and prefer deep, sandy bottom environments. Continue reading

Creature Feature: Bluefin Tuna

bluefin tunaNote: Regulation changes regarding filleting tuna at sea, and the bluefin tuna bag limit, are now in effect.

Bluefin tuna may be found statewide off California, with the majority of fish landed weighing between 15 and 30 lb. (1- to 2-year-old fish).  They range worldwide in all but the very coldest seas. Continue reading

Creature Feature: Gaper Clams

gaperclamBoth the Pacific gaper clam and the fat gaper clam may be found on California beaches statewide. They prefer fine sand or firm, sandy-mud bottoms, especially in bays, estuaries, and more sheltered outer coastal areas.  Humboldt Bay, Bodega Bay, Tomales Bay, Drakes Estero, Elkhorn Slough, and Morro Bay are popular digging areas. Continue reading

Creature Feature: Black Rockfish

Note: A new sub-bag limit of 5 black rockfish within the 10-fish RCG Complex bag limit is now in effect.

Black rockfish may be found north of Paradise Cove off southern California in a wide variety of habitats, including near the surface, on the bottom to depths of 1,200 ft., near rocky reefs, and in open water over deep banks or drop-offs. They frequently form loose schools 10 to 20 ft. above shallow (to 120 ft.) rocky reefs, in kelp beds, or in mid-water over deeper reefs (to 240 ft.), but individuals may also be found resting on rocky bottom. Continue reading

Creature Feature: Sanddabs

Four species of sanddab are found in California waters: Pacific sanddab, longfin sanddab, speckled sanddab, and gulf sanddab. Most sport anglers catch the two largest sanddabs, the Pacific and the longfin. The Pacific sanddab is the predominant species in the California catch, with some longfin sanddab caught in southern California. Longfin sanddabs range from Monterey Bay south, while Pacific sanddabs are caught statewide. Both species are found on muddy or sandy bottoms, generally at depths of 30 to 600 ft., although Pacific sanddab are most abundant between 120 and 300 ft. Continue reading