Alaska rockfish come in a wide range of species, with more than 30 types swimming in Alaska waters.
In Yakutat, popular rockfish species include black, quillback and yelloweye. At Yakutat Lodge, we target black rockfish, which are considered Pelagic rockfish, and can be retained. Nonpelagic rockfish, which include quillback and yelloweye, must be released.
When the action is good, Alaska rockfish fishing turns more into catching than fishing. Black rockfish can often be found in good-sized schools and the action can be non-stop. Captains put the boat at the top of a drift and attempt to stay on top of the fish they see on their fish finders. Captains will tell anglers where in the water column they are marking fish, and then anglers drop their metal jigs into the depth range and begin to work it through the range with a jigging motion. Rockfish will often eat a metal jig on the drop as it flutters down, so if the line goes slack, reel until you get tension and set the hook!
Black rockfish average about 3 pounds, with 5-pounders readily available and the occasional 7-pounder brought to the scale. These fish are extremely tasty and make for excellent fish tacos.