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Thread: NorCal Rockfish.....and stuff

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Eagle River, Alaska

    Default NorCal Rockfish.....and stuff

    For a southern Cal raised kid it was interesting spending 3 months working at a clinic in lovely Laytonville while staying in the local “big” city of Willits (of course, for really big city you had to drive another 20 miles to Ukiah). Scenery in this part of California is great. Big redwoods in the front yard of the house I stayed in:

    Beautifully spacious over the garage apartment…….maybe 350 square feet……fortunately I didn’t do any entertaining.

    This was right outside my kitchen window (guess it could also be considered the dining and bedroom window also)……the squirrel and it’s “friend” frequently danced on the roof of my pad sounding like a herd of mini-elephants……

    My landlord, Charlie….great guy…..showed me into a back building in his yard which had these beautiful, full restored ‘60’s Porsches. Did the work himself:

    Now I showed up here in February just 2 weeks after a MI (heart attack) where I had two stents placed in my heart (…..hence since I have metal in my heart I am now a cyborg….I wonder if the Borg will be coming for me?). Anyway first week walking down my steep stairs behind the garage I took an icy header smacking my head and attempting to reconfigure my left kidney…..and “no” this wasn’t due to age as I have had klutz attacks all my life. Managed to make the drive to Laytonville where everyday you got to see the local elk herd frolicking with the cows in the pasture:

    One if the staff had a great picture of about 100 elk crossing the road in front of her car……all you could see was elk fannies. Wanted a copy so I could hang it above my fireplace with the brief by obvious caption, “Elk Butts”…..

    This was another special place in Willits where I spent some quality time with the locals catching up with the local info while my clothes cleaned themselves….this was really one of the happening places in town.

    My time in northern Cal came to an end with the opening of offshore fishing, the first weekend in May). The offshore winds were down (which I understand is rare) so I went out with Northwind Charter and Capt. Matt for some rockfishing. To my amazement he even had a couple of left handed reel set-ups…..very rare for us poor, discriminated against southpaws. The 2 hour plus drive north to Eureka is worth the trip itself……the redwoods are very majestic. Real close to the side of the road in some areas too…..would have really freaked out my wife as I tend to have a bit of a “loose” hand on the wheel:

    I believe all the guide boats out of Eureka are six packs and I had some great guys to fish with….although one was chumming most of the time…poor guy. Was about an hour and a half south to the fishing grounds where we started my drift runs but were continuously hounded by private boats suck up to us….some of them were so close I though we should invite them in for tea and crumpets…..sheesh. Anyone we were fishing mostly 80 to 150 feet with a double hook set-up. We were targeting lingcod first as the Capt figured those would be the toughest to come by. HA…..I think I caught about 15 or so over the course of the day….kept these two:

    Here’s one the Capt snared:

    To save you from a longer story then I already have subjected you to here is the different species I caught during the day……it was a hoot:

    China rockfish:

    Vermillion Rockfish:

    Quillback Rockfish (where did they dig that up….haha):

    Copper Rockfish:

    Canary Rockfish:

    Black Rockfish:

    Cute little Yellowtail Rockfish:

    Caught 3 nice Cabezon:

    Several small blue rockfish were released too. Man, that was some sweet rockfishing to be sure and a lot of fish tacos to take home to Idaho. Overall this was a great experience and it was fun working in small town California also.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    ventura, ca


    I can see how your post is suitable for 'out-of-state reports' - it's a different state there compared to SoCal.
    I feel refreshed just enjoying your report from there. Great conditions on the water and nice grade rockfish with plenty of exercise for the tacos.
    I'm sure you are getting on Idaho waters too , I used to live there - if you up northern ID - shoot me a PM I have some nice trout spots you're likely to enjoy.
    Thanks for posting

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010


    Great report, going on vacation there with family.
    Is there a boat you recommend and what is the cost per a person. Also is Eureka and Fort Bragg the same type of fishing.

  4. #4


    Those are some quality rockfish!

    Those lings are large.

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