Upcoming changes to the Sport Rockfish Regulations in 2023 | Fish the North Shore
In response to recent scientific information suggesting that some coastal groundfish species are in decline, significant changes to California’s groundfish sport fishing regulations are expected beginning next year, according to a press release. published by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The upcoming changes have been developed by the Pacific Fisheries Management Council (PFMC) to reduce pressure on these stocks, leading to shorter fishing seasons in coastal waters, but new opportunities in deeper waters.
In 2022, the length of the inshore groundfish seasons ranged from eight to 10 months, but in 2023 it is expected to be no longer than five and a half months in all areas.
Within the combined daily limit of 10 fish for rockfish, cabezons and greenlings, sub-bag limits of one fish each for quillback and copper rockfish, and four fish for vermilion rockfish will continue in 2023 These sub-bag limits are in effect. since January 2022 and was needed because new information in 2021 indicated severe declines in quillback and copperfish populations off California, and recreational catches of vermilion rockfish continued to be above sustainable harvest limits.
While groundfish seasons will be shorter for inshore waters and some bag limits will be reduced, new opportunities to fish in deeper water starting in 2023 will allow anglers to target healthy populations of rockfish. shelf and slope in deeper waters, such as widow and yellowtail rockfish or bottom blackgill rockfish. In addition, sport fishing seasons for certain other federally managed groundfish species such as sablefish (sometimes called “black cod” or “butterfish”) will be open year-round with no depth constraints. Access to these previously closed depths means new experiences for anglers as they explore new habitats, new fishing spots, new target species, and new gear configurations to assemble and deploy.
“Next year should bring a momentous change in the sport groundfish fishery, as all of the overfished species on the shelf that have driven management decisions for most of the past two decades, except one, are now in good health. “said Marci Yaremko, CDFW’s environmental program manager. “While concerns over spiny and copper rockfish will impact inshore fishing for years to come, there are also a number of new opportunities for anglers, and CDFW looks forward to supporting their development.”
To stay informed of in-season regulatory changes, call the Groundfish Recreational Hotline at (831) 649-2801 or visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/Fishing/Ocean/Regulations/Groundfish-Summary.
Weekend Marine Forecast
After a windy mid-week, winds will begin to ease Friday through the weekend. Friday’s forecast calls for winds of 5 to 10 knots from the northwest and waves from the northwest of 4 feet at nine seconds and from the west of 5 feet at 14 seconds. Saturday and Sunday announce winds up to 5 knots. Saturday’s waves will be from the northwest at 4 feet at nine seconds while Sunday’s waves will be from the northwest at 3 feet at eight seconds and from the south at 2 feet at 13 seconds. These conditions can and will change by the weekend. For up-to-date weather forecasts, visit www.weather.gov/eureka/ or www.windy.com. You can also call the National Weather Service at 443-7062 or the Woodley Island office at 443-6484.
Fort Bragg and Shelter Cove have been hot ports for the past few days. Bragg boats found tuna as close as 20 miles offshore. Scores ranged from teens to mid-30s. The fish are big too, with a considerable number of 30-pounders going over the rails. The boats in the creek had done better, only having to travel 10-12 miles to find the right water and the right fish. The average score was around 30 per boat and above all a good quality of fish. A Dorado was also reportedly caught on Monday.
According to Tim Klassen of Reel Steel Sport Fishing, Monday’s salmon opening was a little slow. “There were a handful of fish caught over a wide area, it didn’t look like anyone found schools of salmon,” Klassen said. “There were a few caught in the Table Bluff area and in the Eel River Canyon, and a few to the north. Just not large concentrations of fish. The water got warmer north of the canyon. , it might have something to do with it We found some really good signs between False Cape and Centerville on the way back from Cape Town and had a few quick bites but nothing stuck Rockfish bite in Cape Town is excellent in this time, with great variety and a very good Pacific halibut bite as strong as ever, the best bite being between the 50 and 54 lines in 200 to 220 feet of water.
“No large schools of salmon were located outside of Trinidad when it opened,” said Curt Wilson of Wind Rose Charters. “There were a handful but they’re definitely scattered. A few were caught south of the beach in 60 to 100 feet of water. The black rockfish bite is still great out front, but Sue- Meg (formerly Patrick’s Point) seems like the best spot at the moment A pod of canary rockfish have also appeared Lingcod bite has been a bit harder lately Pacific halibut has slowed down a bit but still good for boats that take time.
The Cove was the place to be this week for Tuna reports Sea Hawk Sport Fishing’s Jake Mitchell. “Had a good bite on Monday on 10-12 mile. Boats that came in about 30 tuna each. We sailed fast 25 then went rock fishing which is always really good. A few more halibut from the Pacific caught when conditions allow you to get to Gorda. Salmon fishing is still very slow. We spent a full day there last Thursday and only got two fish for the day.
According to Britt Carson of Englund Marine in Crescent City, Monday’s salmon opening was very slow. “I only heard of a handful of fish caught, but it was only one day,” Carson said. “I hope they’re out there somewhere. Pacific halibut bite caught fire this week. We’ve had some big ones in the past few days, some of them 70 and 80 pounds. Most of the boats are targeting the southern halibut from the southern reef.Rockfish action is steady, with limits coming easily.Lings are a little harder to find.A few California halibut were caught this week at South Beach.
Fishing remains decent for Pacific halibut out of Brookings, but slow for salmon, reports Andy Martin of Brookings Fishing Charters. “A few fine kings were caught last week, but overall catch rates are low for salmon,” Martin said. “Lingcod and rockfish action has been good, with charter boat limits of both. Recreational crabbing is decent in the Chetco Estuary. Several boats have ventured offshore for tuna last week without success.
There doesn’t seem to be a shortage of fish in the estuary, but the bite was pretty hard. The water is extremely hot which is probably one of the factors. There are a few that get caught in the tides daily, it’s just not hot. It will likely be that way until we see the first big spurt of fall salmon entering the river. The spring regulations are in effect until August 14, with a daily catch and possession limit of one salmon of any size.
According to Martin, salmon fishing has slowed down on Rogue Bay, but expect the action to heat up again at any time as August is peak season. “Water temperatures are in the 70s near Agness, forcing Kings to hold their ground in the bay. Fishing was good early last week, but the weekend lull has continued until Monday.
Kenny Priest (he/him) operates Fishing the North Coast, a Humboldt fishing guide service specializing in salmon and rainbow trout. Find him on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and www.fishingthenorthcoast.com. For up to date fishing reports and information on the North Coast River email [email protected]