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Because of their size, beautiful coloration, and infrequent landings, yelloweye rockfish are considered one of the most prized of all bottom fishes.
Although the yelloweye rockfish is known to many anglers as “red snapper” this fish is not at all related to the true red snapper. The yelloweye rockfish is one of the many red species of rockfishes in the eastern Pacific. Similar species include the canary and vermilion rockfishes but both have red eyes and different coloration. The body of this species is orange red to orange yellow and the fins may be black at the edges. Adults usually have light to white lateral lines. The eyes are a brilliant yellow and raspy head spines are present in adult yelloweye rockfish. Juvenile coloration is so different that they were once described as a separate species. Juveniles have a rather dark background with a light stripe along the whole lateral line to the base of the caudal fin where the stripe divides at right angles to surround the caudal peduncle. A second, shorter line is found below the lateral line.
The yelloweye rockfish occurs in the eastern Pacific from the Gulf of Alaska to northern Baja California, Mexico where it inhabits rocky reefs and boulder fields in 60 to 1800 feet where they seek shelter in caves and crevices. The following list includes additional details on where to catch this fish:
Like most rockfishes, yelloweye rockfish are most often landed in deep water by anglers who are bottom fishing. Because they are found at great depth, heavy weights are used to present the baits and jigs. Yelloweyes are one of the largest rockfishes and the average fish are typically in the 10 pound range with some specimens reaching up to 40 pounds. Stout bottom fishing tackle is often the equipment of choice so that anglers can wrestle these fish from the protective cover of the rocks and crevices they inhabit. Natural baits like whole fish (dead or live) and cut bait are the preferred baits for this species while heavy metallic jigs are the best lures to use. The following are fishing methods used to catch this fish:
The following are lures, tackle or bait that can be used to catch this fish:
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