Bottom fishing for dummies -
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Old 02-27-2002, 09:31 AM   #1
Han Solo
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Default Bottom fishing for dummies

Hey you've all seen the books at Powell's ... Whatever for Dummies. So why not bottom fishing. Let's kick around some techniques and locations.

Bait of Eggs how about talking up your jetty bass fishing tricks?

I realize that bottom fishing is a pretty general subject so I'll narrow it a little. Jetty for black rockfish, greenling, surf perch and lings. And big blue for Halibut, Rockfish of all kinds, and lings.

Bottom fish are pretty easy really, just about anything works.

We use both bait and hardware and both work well. The following setups are for boats fishing on reefs.

Rig #1
Shrimp flies. This is a mono leader (50#) with three loops tied in it and a shrimp fly on each loop. A weight is used on the bottom snap swivel. You can buy this rig premade by Danielson, they cost ~$2. I make my own because we catch those huge basalt rockfish and the gear goes away more often than not. This technique is good to about 200ft. Beyond that you need way too much lead to get down to the bottom. Just bounce it up and down 10 ft above suspended fish or on the bottom if you are fishing a bump on the bottom. One fish on you set the hook. Let the fish jerk the other flies around and soon you have 3 fish on. This rig works like magic on schooled fish.

Rig #2
Jig and grub. The jig head is the weight and a large hook cast into the lead. Add an oil color double tail or glow in the dark worm. Jigs go from 1/4 oz up to 24 oz. I use the jig for lings and deep rockfish. Use a huge jig for really deep water to discourage the little rockfish from biting. At more than 200' any sea bass or rockfish you bring up is toast. Just zap the glow worm with a camera flash, use a little shrimp or herring oil and drop it down. Bounce on the bottom but be careful about letting the line trail out behind the boat. If it gets too far out due to drift, reel up and drop again.

Rig #3
Meat. Use a Tillamook mooching rig and a herring. Plugged or whole it matters not. Shorten the leader to 18" to reduce snagups. The lead dropper line should be 1/2 the test of the main and leader. That way the huge ling will not be able to foul the lead on the rocks. The dropper will bust off and you get the fish. Just bounce this along the bottom behind the boat. Drop it quickly or a silver will nail it on the way down. You can also add chunk herring to any hook on the rig #1 or #2. This catches most anything on the reef including Halibut, lings and rockfish.

Any other ideas?

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Old 02-27-2002, 10:05 AM   #2
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Default Re: Bottom fishing for dummies

You missed one of my favorites, throwing iron. I love to cast diamond jigs up drift and jig them back to the boat as we drift over them. Anything shiny works well, although I have found my favorite color to be brown and yellow. I have a four oz mold for diamond jigs and cast them myself. No tears when you lose em.

I also like to throw swimbaits shallow. These are very effective plastics, especially when fished behind a light (2oz) head. This is probably my favorite rig for 75' or less.

I also use shrimp flys, but not in the way you described. I always put just one on a dropper loop above my jig. Not because I want small fish to hit the fly, but because I want big fish to hit the jig. I have found that in the salt, nothing is easier prey than something trying to eat something else. Piggybacked lings are a perfect example of this. So I find that if I string one shrimp fly above my jig, the jig fishes better.

All these techniques are shallow water business, which is the most fun for bottom fish IMHO. I would rather fight a 3 pound fish in 60' on light gear than haul a dead 10 pound fish up from 300' of heavy gear. But when the swell is up, shallow water rockfish move out, and deep is your only option.
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Old 02-27-2002, 01:13 PM   #3
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Default Re: Bottom fishing for dummies

You talk about getting the line too far behind the boat and starting over. Do you ever backtroll the drift? Seems like it would keep your baits/lures down and slow down the presentation through the prime structure.
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Old 02-27-2002, 01:43 PM   #4
Bait O' Eggs
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Default Re: Bottom fishing for dummies

Good subject John

When I use the shrimp flies I like to add a chunk of meat on the hook with the fly. Just a piece of herring about an inch long is all it takes. I dont think it is needed, but I seem to have better luck when I feed the fish a little real food. I usually use about 16 ounces of lead when fishing 50 to 200 feet out of the boat.

It has been so long since I fished off the jetty during the day, I dont even remember what I did. [img]graemlins/1zhelp.gif[/img] For the last 20 years I exclusively fish off the jetty at night. I dont target the lings as they are difficult to land when you are on the rocks above them. It is far easier to fish for them from a boat and you can pull them away from the rocks as they like to find a hole and hide on you.

My bottom fishing from a jetty is always targeting the black bass. A lantern, a bucket and a handful of 3 inch twisty tail jigs on a 1/4 or 1/2 ounce jigs. I like to throw and slow retrieve these at or near high tide. At low tide when you stand on the dry (non slippery) rocks it is a long way to the water and hard to fish and land your fish. I set up some lanterns so I can see, keeping the lantern as close to the water as I can without loosing it to a wave. It doesnt take long to figure out where the submerged rocks are in front of you, as you will loose your gear in a hurry. I like to cast and do a slow retrieve with an occasional slight jigging motion. If you reel in to far as it sinks, you will be in the rocks and soon be re-tying. My preference is light trout tackle and about 6 pound line. Of course I have been spooled a few times with the light gear. :grin: :grin: When the schools of fish come in along the rocks at night it is fast and furious, usually catching a fish every cast. It is not uncommom to loose a fish to only have another one grab it before you get it in. Seems I either get skunked or bring a limit home, not a lot of in between trips.

Be careful when fishing off the Jetties!!! the sneaker waves will take you right off a rock and put you in the drink if you get too close to the water. I have fished one 70 year old guy out of the water when he fell in years ago. It is amazing how hard those waves hit you when you get right down in the edge of the surf and get pounded into the rocks.
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Old 02-27-2002, 09:13 PM   #5
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Default Re: Bottom fishing for dummies

Good stuff, guys; I think you've got it pretty well covered. Speaking of bottom fish, anyone else seen the marine forcast for this weekend? A floatilla out of Gerribaldi is looking good; sunshine and friendly seas. I'm making salt water preparations and charging batteries. Baring any downgraded forcase, who's game for Three Arch Rocks?

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