Sea Bass Fishing Tips
Sea Bass for Dinner
Tips for Sea Bass Fishing
All anglers that enjoy fishing saltwater need a few sea bass fishing tips in order to salvage a bad day by putting a few into the box for dinner. The following techniques are very easy to implement and will result in a fun family fish fry. Fishing for sea bass also called rock bass or simply rock fish can be fast and furious when you get into a large group of fish and with basic tackle and gear you can fill the boat quickly. Most anglers fish for rock fish from a boat as the best spots will be offshore in anywhere from 50 - a few hundred feet deep around underwater rock structure. Other species that be around include kelp greenling, ling cod, and even halibut or cabezon, vermillion, and many other species can also be caught when fishing for sea bass. The sea bass will live in very close to shore in estuaries and bays along the large man made jetties. These jetty fisheries can be enjoyed by people on shore that can cast off the rocks.
Sea Bass Fishing Tips & Techniques
- Look for Structure - The best locations to catch sea bass are around underwater rock structures such as large pinnacles that rise off the bottom and form breaks in the ocean current, hiding locations, and a concentration of bait fish and other parts of the food chain that attract game fish such as rock bass, ling cod and many others.
- Change your depths - When you have found a good fish attracting piece of structure or been given the GPS coordinates for a well known hot spot make sure to fish a variety of different depths until you find where the sea bass are holding. While fishing at or near the bottom is the traditional place to start, fish like the black sea bass are known to suspend in 50 feet of water when the bottom may be as deep as 75 feet to 150 feet. To fish off the bottom I prefer to drop all the way down and then start reeling up in 10 feet sections jig a few times and then move it up, generally if the fish are active, but suspended you will find the depth and can repeat it easily for fish after fish. It is always fun finding the suspended fish when they just eat the offering on the first drop. If you feel like you should have been at the bottom by then, you might already have a fish on, set the hook and have fun.
- Try several colors - Make sure to bring several colors of plastic grubs if you are fishing with lead head jigs. My favorite colors are a simple white or black grub anywhere from 4 to 8 inches in length. There are numerous colors and sometimes chartreuse, pink, greens, and other color combinations will work so always have a couple of colors fishing until one outperforms the others.
- Use a Spoon - The typical rig for sea bass is a lead head jig with one or two shrimp flies rigged up the line before the swivel and the main line. However, a deadly technique is to use a traditional saltwater spoon 4 ounces or more as the weight with a treble hook on the bottom. This gives a different look for the fish and sometimes will out fish the lead head jigs and grubs significantly.
- Tip Shrimp Flies with Bait - When fishing with shrimp flies above your weighted lure it is highly recommended to add a little bit of bait whether it is a small little piece of shrimp to give it some meat and scent to attract a biting fish. One of the best bait trailers for a shrimp fly is a small little strip of squid that resembles the look of a small worm, it wiggles nicely, gives off a scent of squid which sea bass often eat, and is tough and stays on the hook for many drops to the bottom.
- Fish from Shore - There are many great places to try your luck for sea bass from shore including rock jetties that are often at the mouth of major rivers where they meet the ocean. Other places may include large rock outcroppings which can be fished from depending on the tides and location fish may be very close to shore and some often live year round right around the jetties. When fishing the jetties I suggest lightening the offering up significantly sometimes we use spinning gear with little jig heads as light as an 1/8 of an ounce with 1 ounce also being popular for fishing on the bottom. The lightweight jig is used to swim the grub through the water closer to the surface. I also like to use a Hopkins spoon in a 3/4 oz size and just ripe the spoon back to the rocks. Cast towards the direction of the current and fish with the water movement and rip the rod frequently to get lots of flash and vibration from the spoon. Make sure to be careful around the rocks as a slip and fall could result in a very dangerous situation.
Sea Bass Fishing Tackle Tips
The following sea bass fishing tips will help make sure you have a great chance of catching a boat load of fish the next time you venture out to the ocean in your own boat, a friends boat, or on a charter boat with a whole group of friends.
- Braided Line - Use a braided fishing line in the size strength of anywhere between 50 and 80lbs test. I prefer 65lbs as a happy medium. Make sure to tie your rig to a heavy duty swivel with a 40lbs leader between the swivel and your lure. There are a couple of companies that make a high quality braid, I prefer Powerpro and Tuf-Line, each work well.
- 6 Foot Rods - Use a 6 to 7 foot length offshore rod. The ocean series of rods by Penn are great choices and used by a large number of ocean fisherman. Other brands that are great are Lamiglas, and G Loomis. Both companies make high end ocean fishing so if it is important to you to have high performance fishing gear then check out out the offshore rod selections for rods that would excel for bottom jigging. Matched with a heavy duty ocean fishing baitcasting reel. Depending on your budget you can pick up a higher end Shimano reel for $300to much more or a lower cost reel for around $100. While it is more than fine to use lighter rods for sea bass, however if there is the chance that ling cod or other large ocean fish are nearby and willing biters it is good to use the heavier gear so you can brings these fish to the boat as well.
- Variety of Sized Jigs - Whether you are fishing with jigs or large irons and spoons, the ocean currents can change significantly between days and sometiimes you may be fishing shallow enough that 2oz jigs are light enough and other times you may need weights as heavy as 12oz or more. But the average is going to be in that 4 - 6 oz.
- Shrimp Fly Tips - Always maintain a selection of different shrimp fly colors and different types of bait to tip the shrimp flies. While many anglers use a saltwater metal jig or a lead head with a big grub, you can also use it simply as a bottom weight to present shrimp flies that are what the sea bass often prefer to bite. The shrimp fly should be made of a large strong hook and typically has feather, reflective mylar, and other materials to attract the fish to bite. Pre-rig several shrimp fly rigs with 2 droppers about 1-2 feet a part from each other to attach the shrimp flies to.
Tip for Clean a Sea Bass
Tips for Sea Bass Cooking
When preparing sea bass it is important to fillet the fish properly so that you get all of the good meat off of and get a nice large chunk to make fish sticks or piece for baking. Check out the video for help in leaning some great tips on how to clean your fish properly.
Sea bass is excellent in several ways, it is a thick white flaky fish with great flavor. We prefer to either bake the sea bass in a few spices just a light spinkle of sea salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, a little garlic and bake for 10-15 minutes at 325. However, most people enjoy a great fish fry and boat full of fisherman can bring home enough fish to feed half the neighborhood, find a great fry batter you prefer and get to frying.
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