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ᑈᑃᑂᑀᑆᑅᑁᑄᑇ ᑂᑀ ᑉ TIDE

HETHER YOU ARE FISHING at the islands or along the beach, the SoCal cod fishery can be rewarding on many lev- els. I’ve pursued rock fish for years and have had my eyes glued to a sounder and plotter more times

than I can count, moving in slow circles to align the boat up-current of some

There is nothing quite like seeing the sun come up over the horizon just as clouds of marks emerge suspended


Putting all the pieces together to be in the right place at the right time is what makes rock fishing such a

gratifying experience.

over a couple large stones in 40 fathoms — a sure sign that the fish have moved into the area. The anticipation that

comes as cod outfits, already rigged and baited up, are sent gliding down into the depths on target. The telltale thump of the torpedo sinker hitting hard bottom followed by a dozen slow cranks off the bottom. The violent shak- ing of the rods as a school of vermillion rock fish mauls the baits.

Putting all the pieces together to be in the right place at the right time is what makes rock fishing such a gratify- ing experience. I’ve had the good for- tune over the years to fish with some excellent fishermen and learn some cod techniques that can help anglers be more successful.

BRAID IS THE WAY In Southern California, rock fish are

targeted in 25 to 60 fathoms and your catch ratio will go way up just by using braid or Spectra line on your cod out- fits. There is simply too much stretch in monofilament to set a hook properly at


Rockfish are a challenging deep-water target for SoCal anglers. By Bob Hoose

these depths. With monofilament, many fish are missed because the angler simply cannot come tight or they miss the bite altogether. Braid has been out on the market for

more than 20 years and yet it is always amazing to see that at least half of the anglers are still fishing monofilament every time I go on an open party sport boat for rock fish. Make your trips more efficient and effective by spooling up two or three 25N – 30 size reels with 50- or 65-pound braid this winter. You will notice an immediate positive dif- ference in your hook-up ratio on your next trip.

I use Berkley Pro Spec Braid in white for its universal performance for both cod fishing and live-bait or jig fishing in the summer months. Most anglers simply add a short 25-yard top shot of monofilament after rock fishing season is over. That allows you to have the proper line for rock fishing and still be able to quickly shift into surface gamefish mode just by adding either a top shot of monofilament or fluoro- carbon leader.

ROCK FISH GEAR The trend in reels has been towards

small, round, level-wind star-drag reels and although some believe they do not perform as well in live-bait applica- tions, for a designated “cod reel” this is an excellent choice. One of the biggest advantages is the level-wind takes all 21

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