Rockfish, lingcod targeted between storms
(BROOKINGS, Ore. – Feb. 15, 2023) – The new year has been off to a stormy start, as big swells, steep wind chop and overall rough conditions have kept charter boats on the Southern Oregon Coast at the docks. As the weather improves in late winter and early spring, expect good action for lingcod and rockfish.
The Brookings Fishing Charters fleet has run a handful of trips so far in 2023, with fishing only fair at best. Rough conditions and cold water has made the rockfish and lingcod more reluctant to bite. Generally, the better the weather, the better the fishing this time of year. As swells and seas subside, the rockfish and lingcod will aggressively feed, resulting in what can be wide open fishing.
During the winter months, lingcod move into shallow water to spawn. Large numbers of male lingcod, between 5 and 10 pounds, remain in shallow water to guard the nests of the spawning lingcod. The larger females, which can reach 30 to 40 pounds, quickly return to deep water, but while on their spawning run they are within range of sport anglers. During the most recent trips, the Miss Brooke caught limits of rockfish and a few lingcod, plus a few limits of Dungeness crab.
Crabbing has been decent this winter, and the Brookings Fishing Charters boats have dropped crab pots to check on the way back from the fishing grounds. The commercial crab season is now in full swing, reducing the number of crab available for anglers.
Local half-day and 6-plus-hour bottom fishing trips are available daily during the winter and early spring. The Point St. George Reef near the lighthouse opens to fishing May 15. This year, the Oregon limit for rockfish is five rockfish and two lingcod. Salmon dates will be adopted in April. Pacific halibut season opens May 1 out of Brookings.
Our charter boats use light spinning tackle or light jigging rods to target rockfish and lingcod. Our six-pack boats are the fastest in the fleet, while larger groups, or people who like fishing on a larger party-style boat, can book trips aboard the 42-foot Nauti-Lady.
To book an ocean charter, call (541) 813-1082, or book online at www.brookingsfishing.com.