Central Coast Rocks Nov. 10 and 14

Again, an old report. Having trouble getting to the computer lately - but I’m still fishing!

Nov. 10: Low tide was 2.2 ft at 4 AM. High tide was at 10 AM at 5.7 ft. Just the way I like them. You have a higher than usual low tide and by 10 AM, I have had some time to get the feel of conditions and whether the fish are biting. I seem to do best at higher tides. I started fishing at daybreak - and what a daybreak - just a beautiful morning, clear sky, low wind, low swell - Let’s go fishing!

I had two spots I wanted to fish and they were both high tide spots. I did well at the first spot. I caught two grassies and a black and yellow. All were caught on fresh smelt, fishing out far. I started fishing spot number two about an hour before high tide. The fish were hungry there, also. I got another keeper black and yellow and the best fish of the day, a 14” grass rocky. Once again, they were caught on fresh smelt casting out as far as I could. Since the rockfish were biting, I was trying to avoid catching any cabs by fishing out far and using smelt instead of frozen squids. I usually catch cabs fishing in close using squid. This was one of the better fishing days I have had here on the Central Coast. I stopped fishing when they were still biting as we had enough fish for several dinners.

Nov. 14: The water was supposed to be calm, the weather was supposed to be nice and I still had a few smelt left from the last trip, so I decided to try some new spots.

I’ve fished north of this spot and south of this spot, but never right there. It’s a shallow spot and you have to get there when there is enough water to get your fish in. It took awhile, but I got two black and yellow rockfish. Surprise, surprise.

I had one more set of rocks that I wanted to try. I fished that spot for about an hour for nothing. But, at least I was getting my rigs back and not getting snagged as much as in the first spot. So, i made one more cast with a smelt head and got an unusual bite. And an unusual fight! I knew it was a good fish, but I couldn’t tell what kind of fish because of the strange fight. Somehow I managed to get this fish in through the rocks and kelp and get it to a more secure spot where I wouldn’t lose it. It was a 28” halibut!! What a shock! I haven’t caught a halibut since i was living in So Cal.

By the time I had pulled him in through the rocks, secured him in a safe spot, and took a few pictures he was already dead. I was surprised how quickly he died. It must have been the trauma of pulling him in. So I couldn’t release him which I was thinking about doing.

After preparing and eating halibut three different ways, my wife and I agreed that we still preferred rockfish. A good thing since this was the only halibut I have caught in 15 years. The rockfish taste better but the halibut sure takes a better picture.

Always a surprise when fishing on the Central Coast.
That’s an amazing catch from the rocks!!
Nice going!
I agree, rockfish is better than California Halibut. Both are good though!
Nice going! But it sounds like this would be a good time for a PFIC SURVEY. Halibut or Rockfish. Which one do the members prefer?
Nice rockfish and hali! I like rockfish better, too. Halibut are fun to catch, but meat is leaner and dryer - very little tolerance for overcooking, almost more like a meat than a fish. If you season and add fat in cooking, halibut tastes good, but I'll still take a freshly steamed rockfish.