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Thread: PWS Rockfish Help

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    Member wildwill's Avatar
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    Default PWS Rockfish Help

    Looking for a couple pointers on rockfish out in Western PWS. Never caught a yellow eye only only a couple small rockfish. Dialed in for all sorts of salmon, rainbows and Hali, but really clueless on the rockfish. Assuming around rocks. But past that clueless.

    Depth to look for, general areas to avoid. Any assistance greatly appreciated. If anyone wanted to be kind enough to share specific details, please feel free to use PM. I only make it to PWS for 1-2 trips a year, so won't plunder. Really just looking for a fish or two for dinner a couple nights.

    Thanks in advance,

    Will
    Since the World is 2/3 Water and Only 1/3 Land, Figures the Good Lord Intended I Fish More Than I Plow.

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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Will,
    Ger over to the East side of Knight Island. Jig around the manning rocks area. Lots of underwater pinnacles 30,40,50, 60' deep. Use bait, jigs, pretty much anything and you will do well.
    BK

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    Member Rob B's Avatar
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    If you want or needd to stay in closer, the east side of Culross is decent and the north east side of Cochrain bay. Right near where it curves going round towards Culross passage. Heck, find anything with a little structure and steepness and you will find them. Oh, just north of Disk Island onthe west side of Ingot Island is really good too. Good luck.
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    Member cormit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildwill View Post
    Looking for a couple pointers on rockfish out in Western PWS. Never caught a yellow eye only only a couple small rockfish. Dialed in for all sorts of salmon, rainbows and Hali, but really clueless on the rockfish. Assuming around rocks. But past that clueless.

    Depth to look for, general areas to avoid. Any assistance greatly appreciated. If anyone wanted to be kind enough to share specific details, please feel free to use PM. I only make it to PWS for 1-2 trips a year, so won't plunder. Really just looking for a fish or two for dinner a couple nights.

    Thanks in advance,

    Will
    You don't have to go far from Whittier to get rock fish or yellow eye. Good fish can be found between Whittier and the upper entrance to Culross Pass. Plan to fish from 150' to 300' of water. Look for rocky points with steep drop offs. Fishing that depth can be a real pain ..... with the wrong gear. We used to use our Cook Inlet halibut rigs with Penn Senators and Dacron line. But, it took a pound of weight to get a jig to the bottom ..... and with much current moving ....... really was hard to keep it there. Wind is always a problem when trying to fish deep. Did catch a few here and there, but then ...... discovered this video from a S.E. salmon moocher. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKYjnaHTP28

    This guy described the rigs and tackle they were using and the spectra line and all. My wife and I had a anniversary coming up, so we bought ourselves these mooching rigs ...... the exact rods and reels that he demonstrates. This is pretty expensive equipment ....... and you could get by with much more affordable stuff. But, you can't skimp on the line. Power Pro Spectra is expensive, but necessary to get light tackle into deep water.

    We use the basic set up that he demonstrates ..... but we don't bother with the plug cut herring ...... and you won't need to either. Buy troll herring ...... reds or greens .... and use the whole herring. With one hook inserted in the mouth and out through the top of the head and the second hook through the side of the herring closer to the tail ...... let this trail 20" to 24" behind a four ounce banana weight.

    You have to use a little patients to allow this set up to descend without twirling up ....... but it's not that difficult. Allowing this set up to descend to 2-300' feet takes a few minutes ...... but often times you won't make it down there and you'll be hooked up. Almost nothing will pass up this descending herring ...... including kings and silvers (humpies, dogs and reds too). If you should get all the way to the bottom ..... if there are rock fish there ..... you will have one quick.

    Rock fish can be caught on lots of different lures, jigs and baits ...... and I expect some will say this herring mooching method is not necessary ..... there are much easier ways to catch rock fish / yellow eye. Maybe so but, If you ever try this method ..... I'll bet you won't go back. We catch rock fish where folks say there aren't any. Give it a try, and good luck.

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    Member wildwill's Avatar
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    Awesome guys thank you. We will likely be out by Unakwik or down Port Nellie Juan/Deep water bay. Just haven't settled north or south yet.
    Since the World is 2/3 Water and Only 1/3 Land, Figures the Good Lord Intended I Fish More Than I Plow.

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Man - I would swear that after my trials yesterday that there are no rockfish anywhere in the sound from Whittier to Eaglek to story and back......no halibut either.............

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    Member NeverLand's Avatar
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    I fish down around Latouche. Just look for pinnacles or rock piles and you'll find them. Doesn't seem to matter what you put on the hook. Off the southeast shore of Latouche in from 170' to 190' you can catch a lot of quillbacks. Problem is, the halibut tend to take the bait before rockfish have a chance. Good luck.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildwill View Post
    Looking for a couple pointers on rockfish out in Western PWS. Never caught a yellow eye only only a couple small rockfish. Dialed in for all sorts of salmon, rainbows and Hali, but really clueless on the rockfish. Assuming around rocks. But past that clueless.

    Depth to look for, general areas to avoid. Any assistance greatly appreciated. If anyone wanted to be kind enough to share specific details, please feel free to use PM. I only make it to PWS for 1-2 trips a year, so won't plunder. Really just looking for a fish or two for dinner a couple nights.

    Thanks in advance,

    Will
    The further you get from Whittier the better. You'll start catching some rock fish around Culross, but fishing is better further out. Check the charts and look for underwater pinnacles or underwater cliffs. With steep drop offs and current to bring bait to the rockfish (i.e. the tips of islands and peninsulas) you'll find rock fish. In regards to yellow eye, fish around 200-350' deep. The larger yelloweye seem to be deeper i.e. around 300'. When fishing shallower you'll be getting quillback, so if you want yellow eye fish deeper.

    Fishing can be great in one spot one day and poor at the same spot the next day, next week or next month. It's important to have identified about 1/2 dozen different spots and if you're not catching fish after 15-20 minutes, try a different spot. I would recommend against anchoring up, drift and jig. Its more important to know what rock fish habitat looks like on a chart than to have people give you their favorite spots. It's worth burning some gas to get into the middle of the sound.
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