Rockfish can be easy to catch with the right lure. The Pacific Coast offers great fishing for the many species of Rockfish. I have selected the most popular and productive lures used to catch any Rockfish including Black Rockfish, Blue Rockfish, Yellowtail Rockfish, and Copper Rockfish. These lures can be used from a boat or by shore bound anglers.
As with any type of saltwater fishing, the size of jighead or metal jig will be dictated by current speed and depth fished. I have fished for Rockfish with as little as ¼ ounce to as heavy as 4 ounces in my favorite nearshore Rockfish spots. For those interested in targeting deepwater species, larger weights will be needed.
Kalins Mogambo Grub
Kalin’s Mogambo Grubs are one of my favorite lures for Rockfish. These lures work very well, are extremely durable, and fairly inexpensive. The Mogambo features an oversized curly tail that is very active when retrieved through the water. Recommended colors include Motor Oil, White, Gray Glitter, Root Beer.
Scampi Tail Grub
Scampi Tail Grubs offer a dual tail that creates plenty of attraction for Rockfish. I recommend using white, brown & shrimp colored scampi tails.
Shrimp Flies are extremely popular with the Charter Fleet in many Pacific ports. In areas where more than one hook is allowed, multiple shrimp flies can be rigged, allowing for quick limits once a large school of rockfish is discovered. Typically, Shrimp Flies are rigged 1-2 feet apart on the mainline, with a lead weight at the end of the mainline to get the setup down to the school.
The emergence of countless custom soft plastic manufacturers has given the Rockfish angler many more options than in the past. Custom Tuna or Bass swimbaits may be slightly more expensive than bulk bottomfish plastics, but these lures are designed and made with care. Some of my favorite lures for Rockfish are from small custom soft bait makers.
5 Inch Single-Tail Grub
These Curly Tail Grubs can be found in bulk bins at almost every seaside marina, boathouse and tackle shop. They are extremely inexpensive, come in a variety of great colors and are most likely the most popular lure for Rockfish overall. Recommended colors: White, Motor Oil, Root Beer, Black, Purple.
Yamamoto Single & Double-Tail Grubs
Practically every fishing tackle store carries Gary Yamamoto soft baits, and with an array of natural colors these are perfect for the saltwater as well. These tend to be fairly inexpensive, but they lack the durability that many saltwater specific plastics have.
Pline Lazer Minnow
These flashy metal jigs are one of my favorite lures for Salmon, Lingcod and Rockfish. They have a very long range of attraction, and come in a variety of fishy colors. I typically use these when I am fishing from a boat, as they are more expensive than soft plastics and are easy to lose from a jetty. Blue/Silver, Chartruese/Silver, White/Silver and Black/Silver are my favorites.
Storm Weighted Swimbait
Storm and Calcutta both produce a weight-infused swimbait that is very lifelike and very effective. While they look great, they are not heavy enough for their size and are best fished in shallower waters. Bunker, Shad, Golden Mullet and Sardine are my favorite color patterns.
This timeless soft plastic is both durable and inexpensive. The paddle tail’s action looks just like a fleeing baitfish. These are fairly Old School but they work like a charm.
I hope this was helpful to all of you Rockfish enthusiasts, I have spent many years experimenting with lures and have narrowed down my personal selection to these favorites.