Most gopher rockfish are caught between Pt. Conception and Monterey Bay in nearshore waters, but they may generally be found from Mendocino County southward off California. Gopher rockfish range from the intertidal zone to depths of around 282 ft., but are most commonly found at depths greater than 40 ft. Continue reading “Creature Feature: Gopher Rockfish”
Black-and-yellow rockfish may be found statewide, but they are uncommon north of Mendocino County and south of Point Conception. They range from intertidal depths to around 120 ft., but are most common in depths of 50 ft. or less. [Currently, fishing depth restrictions apply to this species and all groundfish.] Continue reading “Creature Feature: Black-and-Yellow Rockfish”
Note: Recreational fishing regulations for this species include depth constraints, seasonal closures, gear restrictions, and beginning January 6, 2022 a new sub-bag limit of four fish. Visit the Frequently Asked Questions flyer for more information about the sub-bag limit. As regulations can change in-season, anglers are encouraged to check the Marine Region website or call the Recreational Groundfish hotline at (831) 649-2801 prior to fishing for current regulations.
- Bright red on body and fins, black and gray mottling on young fish
- Fish less than 12 inches long may have black-edged fins
- Body moderately deep
- Upper profile of head moderately curved
- Large mouth, lower jaw slightly projecting, underside of jaw feels rough when rubbed from tail to head
- Weak head spines
Life History & Other Notes
Vermilion rockfish feed almost exclusively on fishes, squid, and octopus. They appear to mature and spawn for the first time when they are 3 to 4 years old. Fertilization is internal and they give birth to live young. A female measuring 20 inches long was estimated to contain 282,000 eggs. By this measure, a 30-inch fish may contain as many as half a million eggs. Most spawning takes place from December through March.
The vermilion rockfish is a very popular and highly sought-after fish. The usual fishing rig consists of baited hooks above a sinker heavy enough to take the line to the bottom on a fairly straight course. A lot of baiting time can be saved by using a tough, difficult-to-steal bait such as a piece of squid or salted mackerel.
Scientific Name: Sebastes miniatus
Other Common Names: red snapper, red rock cod
Range & Habitat: Statewide over rocky reefs or other structure
Length & Weight: To 30 in. and 15+ lb.
Life Span: To 60 years
Diet & Suggested Bait: Feeds on fishes, squid, and octopus. Try live squid and anchovies, or salted mackerel for bait, and artificial lures such as leadhead jigs, swimbaits, and diamond bars.
If you are a recreational angler or spearfisher and plan on fishing for rockfish, lingcod, California scorpionfish (sculpin), and other species of “groundfish” in 2021, continue reading to learn about important regulation changes that will take effect in the new year. Anglers and spearfishers should check CDFW’s website for the current regulations before fishing for groundfish, and are advised that some groundfish regulations printed in the 2020-21 ocean sport fishing regulations book will be out of date starting January 1, 2021.Continue reading “New Recreational Groundfish Regulations For 2021”
Along Highway 1 nestled between the cities of San Simeon and Cambria in San Luis Obispo County is a 5.8 mile stretch of beautiful coastline and the Cambria State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA).
Regulations for Cambria SMCA, and its neighbor to the south, White Rock SMCA, were adopted by the Fish and Game Commission in 2006 and went into effect in 2007 as part of the first regional implementation phase of the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA). Passed in 1999, the MLPA mandated California create a science-based ecologically connected network of marine protected areas (MPAs). Continue reading “Exploring California’s Marine Protected Areas: Cambria State Marine Conservation Area”