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March 1st, 2020 is opening day for the rockfish Season! Before the season ended on December 31st, we were catching limits on almost every HALF DAY trip. As of today, we are back at it again. The great thing about a rock fishing trip is that a half-day charter is more than sufficient to catch a bag full of fish. Read below to find out my 3 favorite things about rockfish:

To book a trip on one of our vessels for a rock fishing trip, please visit the San Diego section of CaptainExperiences.com


Rockfish is some of the best-eating fish out there. Soft, white, flaky meat that doesn't have a fishy taste. Of course, the best dish to make is MEXICAN FISH TACOS. Most people do not know it, but if you have ever had real Mexican fish tacos, you were probably being served rockfish or rock cod. Check out the end of this article for a few recipes. On our larger boats like the Easter B, we will cook up some fish tacos for you on the way home! (8-hour trip or longer). Cleaning is always included.

san diego rockfish


While you trying to catch rockfish, you will find that there is a wide variety of fish-eating your bait, there is literally no telling what you might hook into. Some fish come to mind though; Halibut, Whitefish, Bonito, Shark, Bass,Barracuda, Sheepshead, Yellowtail, and that is just to name a few. Because rock fishing is usually in relatively shallow water and rocky bottom, you will have access to all of the bottom fish that share that same biome.


Catching rockfish is not difficult. Pull up to about 180 feet of water and let your bait sink to the bottom. Wait for the tug, and reel them up. Sometimes you will even catch more than one at a time. The bigger rockfish put up a decent fight until they start to surface, and then they inflate like a balloon due to decompression sickness (same as SCUBA), making them come up very easy.

rockfish captain experiences charter


Once the captain finds the spot, he will let you know. Wait for the boat to come to a complete stop before dropping your line! Remember to keep your thumb on the line as you descend, or you will get a nasty tangle. If you are not familiar with how saltwater fishing reels work, just ask a crew member for assistance. Once you hit the bottom you will know because the line you are letting out will go slack. Once you feel that, put the reel in gear and relax. When you feel the tip of the rod being weighted down, you know you have a rockfish. Give a quick tug to set the hook and then reel it up!

Rockfish fishing San Diego

Here are the kinds of rockfish you may encounter.

Black Rockfish, Blue Rockfish, Bocaccio, Canary Rockfish, Chilipepper, Copper Rockfish, Cowcod, Greenspotted Rockfish, Olive Rockfish, California Scorpionfish aka Sculpin, Starry Rockfish, Vermilion Rockfish, Widow Rockfish, Yellowtail Rockfish


Click here to view the fish and game Rock Fish Identifcation guide.

Click here to view the limits and, Regulations for Southern California Rock Fishing published by Fish and Game.


Here is one of my favorite recipes for Ensenada Style Battered fish tacos.

By the way, if you need your fished shipped anywhere in the country, just ask, we do that! We use Five Star Fish Processing in Point Loma and they can ship nationwide on dry ice, overnight delivery.

Well, until next time, fair seas and tight lines!