Winter lingcod fishing yields trophies
BROOKINGS, Ore. (Jan. 14, 2023) – During the winter months, between storms, charter boats are able to venture out of the Port of Brookings for some of the best lingcod fishing of the entire year. From November through April, lingcod move into shallow water to spawn. The trophy-size females, which retreat to deep water during the summer, are briefly inshore, giving anglers a rare opportunity to catch them in shallow water.
Ocean conditions have been rough the past month. Gale warnings, swells to 20 feet, and huge breakers have kept the Brookings Fishing Charters fleet, and other boats, at the docks. But in late January and early February, there often is a window to get out and fish. Typically, the action is very good when boats can get out.
Lingcod average 4 to 6 pounds. Fish to 10 pounds are common. But those really big fish, over 20 pounds, are most common during the winter months. In the summer, the large females hunker down in 200 to 400 feet of water, out of range of most sport boats. During spawning season, they make a quick trip to the shallow reefs, from 20 to 40 feet of water, to spawn and then return back to deep water. Smaller males stay behind to guard the nests. Often, half a dozen or more males will remain with each nest.
State and federal biologists have determined lingcod populations are healthy and sustainable, so fishing them in the winter does not hurt the overall health of the fishery. Some anglers choose to release the large fish, but others want to take them home to eat. Lingcod are prized for their tasty fillets.
The Brookings Fishing Charters captains are among the most experienced lingcod fishermen in Brookings. Capt. Andy and Travis grew up in Brookings and have decades of experience fishing for them. Rye, Mick, Sam and Mike also have considerable experience fishing year round out of Brookings.
Mack Arch is a favorite winter lingcod spot. House Rock also is productive. The Point St. George Reef lighthouse is off limits during the winter, however, as California waters are closed until May 15.
Rockfish also are caught during winter time lingcod trips. Black, blue, canary, vermilion and yellowtail rockfish are all common out of Brookings. Limits of lingcod and rockfish are common during the winter months.
To learn more about winter time fishing, visit www.brookingsfishing.com or call (541) 813-1082.
Here is a video about winter time lingcod fishing with Brookings Fishing Charters. https://youtu.be/NwqAZNWL7Cw