The Pacific Ocean waters host many different species of Rockfish and they sure are fun to catch! One of my favorite summer pastimes is to go out fishing for Rockfish. When you drop down into a school of hungry Rockfish, you are in for a fun time. On top of the fun of catching, they are amazing table fare! There is no wrong way to prepare Rockfish fillets, pan fry in butter, deep fry, bake, or make some delicious fish tacos! This post shares my favorite lures for catching Rockfish, both in deep water and the inshore. Hopefully it helps you find success out there!
Best Metal Jigs for Catching Rockfish
One of my favorite ways to catch Rockfish in the Pacific Inshore is with metal jigs. These lures sink down into the Rockfish zone quickly and are very effective. Typically, I will drop them straight to the bottom and lift and drop the rod tip to give them an enticing action.
Not all Rockfish species are found right on the bottom. So, if you mark schools on your sonar in mid-water try and target that zone.
Puget Pounder Jigs
These are classic lures that catch pretty much everything in the sea. I always carry an assortment of Puget Pounder Jigs when I head out bottom fishing. Every color they offer looks good!
View Puget Pounder Jigs on the Riptidefish Online Store
Fisherman’s Gold Flutter Jig
This Seattle area tackle company really scored when they created the flutter jig, I have been amazed at the effectiveness for Rockfish, as well as other reef fish such as Lingcod, Cabezon and even the occasional Halibut! While they will produce other colors, their Glitter Root Beer color is the one that has out-produced all the other metal jigs that I have in my tackle box!
Fisherman’s Gold Flutter Jig 2 ounce to 9 ounce – Available on the Riptidefish Online Store
P-Line Lazer Minnow
P-Line Lazer Minnows are one of my all-time favorite lures for Rockfish. They are reasonably priced, so when you snag one on the rocks it doesn’t hurt the wallet that much. Their mylar-foil finish offers attraction that can entice even the most finicky Rockfish.
P-Line Lazer Minnow 1 oz. – 6 oz. – View at Sportsman’s
Norwegian Cod Jig
This lure is as old as time! The shape of this lure gives it an amazing flutter as it falls through the water column. I love fishing the 2 ounce to 4 ounce for Black Rockfish. However, the larger sizes work very well when fishing in super deep water for Yelloweye, Canary and Boccacio Rockfish, in areas where it is legal to catch them. Works well for Halibut and Lingcod. When you drop these down deep, you never know what you will catch!
- Gibbs Cod Jig – View at Bass Pro
Copper Pipe Jig
A classic lure for Rockfish, Lingcod and Halibut. When you are fishing the bottom in water deeper than 200′, a copper pipe jig will give you a great chance at a prized catch. This lead filled copper pipe creates an amazing amount of electrolysis that bottom fish cannot resist.
Best Soft Plastic Lures for Rockfish
Soft Plastic lures are a staple for your Rockfish tackle box. They are inexpensive and when you fish them on a lead jighead or a chicken rig, they can put limits in the boat.
Twin Tail Scampi
The twin tail scampi is a very universal saltwater lure. By the way, Rockfish will gobble them up! Focus your efforts on Rockfish with the smaller 3″ to 4″ Scampis.
- Offshore Angler Shrimp Twin Tail 3″, 4″ – View at Bass Pro
Curly Tail Grub
This is another one of my all time favorites. Like the twin tail, I will run them on a double hook chicken rig or solo on a lead jighead.
- Offshore Angler Swirl Tail Grubs 4″, 6″, 8″ – View at Bass Pro
Berkley Gulp! Saltwater Baits
Berkley’s Gulp! Saltwater baits come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. One thing they all share in common is the patented Gulp! Saltwater scent that drives Rockfish crazy! And Rockfish are only one of many Pacific Coast saltwater species that are attracted to these awesome baits.
- Berkley Gulp! Saltwater Grub – View at Bass Pro
- Berkley Gulp! Saltwater Sandworm – View at Bass Pro
- Berkley Gulp! Saltwater Swimming Mullet – View at Bass Pro
There are a variety of swim bait companies that sell effective lures. Pick a lead jighead that is heavy enough to get you down to the bottom and work them! Also a favorite of hungry Lingcod.
- Bass Pro Shops Squirmin’ Shad 2″, 3″, 4″ – View at Bass Pro
- Cabelas Action Tail Shad 3″, 4″ – View at Bass Pro
One of those great all around catching lures. Rockfish love B2 Squid. Like other soft plastics, you can rig them however you please and they will catch!
B2 Squid – Available at the Riptidefish Online Store
Shrimp Flies have been used by bottomfish charter companies for… like… forever. Rig them on a chicken rig and catch two Rockfish at a time!