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How to Make Rockfish Rigs

by Eric Cedric
Rockfish are found near jetties and rocks along the sea shore.

Rockfish are found near jetties and rocks along the sea shore.

Rockfish frequent the rocky shoals and jetties throughout much of the northwest. There are around 50 fish in the rockfish family. Fishing for these cold-water denizens follows a basic format. Rig the line with up to five barbed hooks and bottom jig a large cannonball sinker at the end of the line. Rockfish are found throughout the west coast, from Northern California to the Gulf of Alaska.

Tie a leader line to the end of the main fishing line, using a nail knot. Measure out approximately three to four inches from the end of the leader and tie one of the hooks into the line using a dropper loop.

Go three to four inches above the first hook and tie another hook into the leader with the drop loop. Add up to three more hooks off the leader going up the line with the drop loop.

Tie a cannonball sinker to the end of the leader line using a Palomar knot.

Cut several chunks of frozen shrimp or bait fish and bait the hooks by pushing the bait down onto the hooks and exposing the barbs.

Cast the line over the side of the boat and let the sinker hit the bottom. Hand-jig the line so the sinker bounces off the bottom of the water while the boat drifts or moves at a trolling speed.

Items you will need

  • Saltwater rod and reel with 30 pound test
  • Cannonball sinker
  • 3-5 6/O barbed hooks
  • Frozen shrimp or bait fish chunks

About the Author

A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.

Photo Credits