View Full Version : Lingcods from shore

10-06-2008, 02:38 PM
i heard many people catching lings from jettys and off rocks but i am really curious how people catch them. Is it just a luck thing or is there actual secret spots lings usually hide in? i am really anxious to catch my first ling from shore ;D. its fun on boats but i just want the experience from the shore. i uaually fish in the fort ross area (Salt point, Stillwater cove) and cought many rockcods,greenlings and cabezon but i want to catch a ling. any tips are fine. thanks

10-06-2008, 05:46 PM
Fishing in humboldt a couple years ago I caught a nice 3 foot ling right in between a couple of breaker rocks. I uased a 3oz surf rig and a fat squid head. They love the color white up there for some reason. Theyre there trust me. ;)

10-06-2008, 07:57 PM
i wish i could go that far but i only live near the bay area so its going to be hard for me to fish all the way up there just for lings.

10-07-2008, 02:48 PM
I live in the bay area too and started rockfishing from shore about 2 years ago. So far I have caught three lings all keepers. I always bait fish when I hit up the rocks and use mainly squid but have caught one ling with anchovies. When you ask if it is luck to catch them from shore, it probably is considering I mainly catch rockfish, cabs, or greenlings, but they are definitely out there. I mainly fish my secret spot in Marin, drive down south a little a long the coast, or I drive up to Salt Point. The only places I have caught lings from shore are places that involve long hikes, where most people wont venture to cast a line, in Marin and Salt Point. Anyways, shore rockfishing is a blast, not much fishing pressure, and always great scenery.

10-07-2008, 03:52 PM
In order to catch lings, you need to use big baits, like a whole squid, anchovy or swimbait. You can get lucky and catch one close to shore, but most of the time you need be venturing into the deep by casting as far as you can cast. This is going to result in many more snags, but one of these day you'll get lucky when your pole starts going crazy and you pull in a monster from the deep.

10-07-2008, 06:44 PM
You'd probably have the best chance of catching a legal ling cod from shore early or late in the season, around the deepest rocks you could reach. They seem to like to follow small rockfish around, so finding schools of small blues, blacks, etc. from shore might provide a way of locating some larger lings. I use weedless hooks and torpedo-shaped sinkers when I want to minimize snagging. You can also reduce snagging by texas-rigging large plastic twister-tail grubs on .5oz-2oz jig heads. Good Fishing! FB

10-08-2008, 06:03 AM
thanks for all the info. i will definatly try different hikes and rocky areas for lings. does the bigger bait really affect if a ling is going to bite or not? but ill let you guys know when i get my first ling from shore.

10-08-2008, 02:44 PM
For lings, like Fish R Us said, bigger baits will definately be more productive. Of the few that I have caught from shore I've used a whole anchovie for one , and giant pieces of squid for the others. Keeper lings have pretty giant mouths so they can engulf a large piece of bait. The only thing about using big baits is that you probably won't catch the smaller nearshore rockfish like black and yellows, blues, blacks, grassies, greenlings and many of the other species. Also, I don't particularlr recommend fishing up the coast in Salt Point at this time of year due to the extremely large amount of kelp up there right now. Very hard to fish in it, but if you can find a spot free of some kelp, there are tons of fish up there. If you, or anyone has a secret of casting into the kelp and not getting snagged every time then I would love to save some money on tackle and hear it. Thanks and good luck!

10-09-2008, 12:04 PM
I've caught my share of lings from shore - I agree with much of what was posted earlier. I agree that big baits are good - I like whole, frozen anchovies for bait, squid is good too. Most of the legal lings I caught were casting as far as I could with a 12' surf rod (used to use Daiwa Sealine-X, now I use a Daiwa Emblem), although a few were caught in close. I generally use 4-5oz of weight.

I like trying to access as deep water as I can - sometimes that means hiking in some dicey, rocky cliff areas. Or accessing some reefs/rocks that can only be accessed at lower tides. I think a lot of it is luck too - being in the right place at the right time, but using the right baits increases your odds. There are some spots between Santa Cruz and Marin that you can get lucky. Some general areas I've had luck in are Pigeon Point, Bean Hollow, Pescadero, Montara and Marin Headlands.

When I started trying to catch a legal ling from shore (maybe five yrs. ago?) it took me a long time! But my first legal ling from shore was 20 lbs, 36". I was stoked! I've since caught a few around 10-15lbs, but never got anything bigger than that yet. One other note - sometimes lings will just bite down on your bait, but not be hooked. You think you hooked 'em, but with their strong jaws they're just holding on to their meal. Then you bring 'em up and they see what's going on, then they un-clamp their jaws - and bye bye ling! I've lost a few that way. From shore, you're lucky if you can get one bite from a big ling a day - so if you lose it, it's no fun. So always make sure you set your hook good when you have a big fish on in the rocks.

Also, I like to use fairly hefty line when fishing in the rocks because of wear and tear of rubbing against the rocks. Usually 25# test mainline, and 40# leaders for hooks. Some people use a lighter # test for a leader to their sinker, so they can break off when snagged and still retain their hooks - I'm too lazy for that.

Although, I mostly baitfish, I know people catch their share of lings with lures. Mostly swimbaits off jetties, because you can fish and not get snagged as much as from shore. Good luck!


10-09-2008, 06:53 PM
Large spinner baits are another thing that works well from shore and are pretty weed less. If you like you can use a squid strip for a trailer instead or rubber for a little flavor.

10-10-2008, 06:04 AM
http://img413.imageshack.us/img413/3066/lingsl5.th.jpg (http://img413.imageshack.us/my.php?image=lingsl5.jpg)http://img413.imageshack.us/images/thpix.gif (http://g.imageshack.us/thpix.php)

10-10-2008, 01:46 PM
Cool pic. Where you able to land the hitchhiker?

10-10-2008, 02:29 PM
wow thanks for all the info and nice pic too. im going to let you all know when i get my first ling from shore. and thanks again

10-10-2008, 06:03 PM
Here's a tip to find the deep holes. As you watch the waves roll in...you can see where the shallower spots are because the waves/water energy tends to create waves because there's no place for the water to go. But you can see places where the wave action seems to dissapear or maybe create smaller waves, that's where the deep holes are. As the waves roll past the hole and hit the shallower areas, the waves tend to get larger again. Watch the waves carefully and you will get better at this.

Now that you have found the deep hole, you want to cast past the hole, because you don't know how deep it is. Dont cast to the front edge of the hole bacause you'll only be fishing the edge and that will mean more snags indeed. If you cast to the backside of the hole, then you can see your line get less affected by the surface action. Also you need to have a pole long enough and plenty of backbone to pop the ling out of it's lair, or it will wrap you up on the rocks and it's snag time. Also if you "snag", be patient and stay with it and sometimes you can ride it out and get your fish. Good luck.

10-10-2008, 10:17 PM
but are there some deep holes near the shore, or does it just depend on the area you fish? and obviously if you cast way out there deeper holes where lings sre right? im still a little confused about the wave thing too

10-11-2008, 09:31 AM
If you can make the trek I know a really good spot where i've caught many lings from shore. I can tell you the area but not the exact spot. You would need a long net to scoop up the lings. The biggest i pulled from this spot was 17lbs. you need to have a partner to scoop while you watch the wave. It's in the Fort Cronkite area going south off the dirt trail (San Francisco) You can catch cabezon there too. Make sure you have at least 20lb. test. You don't have to cast that far its deep. Don't fish there without a partner. Half a piece of squid works fine or just the head.

10-11-2008, 11:06 PM
Deep holes can be anywhere you just have to look. Looks for rocky shorelines and rocky outcroppings/points that jut further into the ocean. As far as reading the waves, imagine a rock and waves hitting it. If there was no hole on the other side of the rocks and it was shallow, it would be frothy and white-washy. If there was deeper water behind the rock, as a wave comes in, the other side of the rock, the water would be more settled, and appear to be darker in contrast, less white-wash. As far as lings, use heavy line (30lb), and big sharp hooks with at least a half squid on it. Just find deep, rocky water on the edge of kelp if you can. You will catch more rockfish than lings overall, but with a half squid it'll help you cull the smaller fish and it helps in targeting the bigger lings. Hope this helps.

10-12-2008, 09:11 AM
thanks that helps alot. are most or all of the deep hole usually far out? and how heavy should the weight be?

10-12-2008, 12:01 PM
You just gotta look at land structure and imagine deep drops from the rocks. It will usually be deeper the further you cast out, but there may be some spots that are deep enough to pitch a bait form, just gotta find good rocks. As far as weight, use enough to hold whereever your fishing, this may mean a min of 2-3 oz, and more when the swell is up.

10-13-2008, 03:39 PM
You could have deep channels and holes close to the shore, however most are out in the deep. A good way to check out the terrain is during a low (or minus) tide where most of the structure is exposed. Try to memorize the areas during this time and that will indicate where to fish/cast during the medium-high tides. The reverse is also true. If you see any exposed rock peaks during minus tides, that is a place to avoid fishing during higher tides where they will be hidden underwater most of the time.