Can you catch Sablefish AKA black cod sport fishing or...
are they just too crazy deep? We boat out of PWS and wonder if anyone has every caught one by mistake or on purpose? I've heard they are yummy.
I figure i have about 1k feet of line on some of my reels. Is it worth a try?
With 1,000' of line you just might get lucky. If not, there are also halibut at 1,000' (we catch them at over 2,000' in the Sound), and there are also good numbers of shortraker rockfish and pacific cod that deep, so there's nothing to lose. Obviously deeper is better - when targeting sablefish we start at 1,800 and go down to 2,200' - but there are some that range shallower. The size is smaller on average at shallower depths, but they're still excellent eating! Most sport fishermen that target them intentionally use electric reels with more line, but heck, if you want to crank one up from those depths, give 'er a go. I would just advise you to use octopus or a similarly "sticky" bait that doesn't have to be checked.
Electric Reels Are Preferred But Not Necessary
Those that I know that have had success on sablefish have been using electric reels and Spiderwire. One guy was even using a battery pack drill motor to crank his conventional reels (I was impressed).
I noticed that you have to be careful and not horse them in because they have soft mouths and can pull off. For best results you need very smooth and slack water. From my observations you need to keep your boat from sailing away from your hooks - the more vertical your lines are the better the catch rates.
As others have said you will be in the upper reaches of the sablefish habitat at 1200' but as a rule the fish usually get larger the deeper you go. With luck you may collect a Thornyhead rockfish or two (known as "Idiotfish" or "Idiots" to the long-line guys). Now there is a delicious fish!
I pulled 2 small ones out of 500 feet one day fishing out of Seward (Sept). Wasn't impressed enough on the table to ever consider fishing in 1k to 2k fow.
Interesting. We catch some idiotfish while longlining for sablefish. We kept one for personal use once, but I was less than impressed. Perhaps I need to prepare it more like sablefish since they both have soft flesh? From what I tried I prefer other rockfish, but they pay considerably more for idiots, so there must be a reason for it.
Originally Posted by JKD