I suck at lingcod fishing

Discussion in 'Saltwater Fishing Forum' started by SaltyAlice, Jun 4, 2018.

  1. SaltyAlice

    SaltyAlice Well-Known Member

    Can we all just take a moment to contemplate how bad I am at fishing for lingcod?

    The sum total of my lingcod efforts to date include multiple lost lures, a sunburn, and an extra large case of being flummoxed.

    This past weekend I think I jigged around every single mount in the Gabriola Reefs that started in the 40-100' range. I jigged with the current, during slack, backed down against the current, sideways to the current. I used sidescan to build 3d models of the bottom and strategize drift paths and depths. I let lines drift in front of rocks, on top of rocks, under rocks. I tried different jigging tempos. I tried several variants of the power paddle, Norwegian cod jig, squid variants, needlefish analogs, glow in the dark, scents..... went at it for about 7 hours and didn't get a single nibble.

    I can only surmise that there are no more fish on the bottom of the sea.

    Knock on wood I have never been skunked when going out for salmon, but that is something I did as a kid and learned from family. I have no experience with the whole lingcod boondoggle so I'm assuming I'm either doing something very wrong, or I have deeply annoyed the God of Ugly Yet Delicious Fish.

    Do I need to sacrifice a goat during a full moon? Because I will sacrifice 10 goats if it helps.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2018
  2. Salted

    Salted Active Member

    Probably just fished out. If you'd have been on top of them, you would have caught one. Ling opens when? March 31st I think. They get plucked up pretty fast, it takes a while for other ling to advance into that territory.

    I'd be happy to tell you about a spot close to Pender Isla... oh wait... nevermind. :-|

    If you do go the goat route, make sure to paint DFO on it's side or it won't bring you any luck. :D:rolleyes::cool:
  3. high tide

    high tide Well-Known Member

    Gabriola you say ....... Well it could be because of a Large Aluminum legal or illegal Charter that runs out of the North Arm of the Fraser...... As their day after day pounding of the bottom fish has likely decimated them...... Surrounded around the gunnels by short black haired fishermen women and children....... Rods in hand that never seem to release anything brought over its sides.
    This vessel has been reported numbers of times by those witnessing its actions yet it seems to go untouched..... Even as it sits outside McDonald park dock in the River at idle as friends or relations ready their vehicles ...... Then it's the speedy drop off of the boats occupants or clients as they run from dock to vehicles with plastic bags and coolers never to be seen again .......

    On a side note...... Try large herring on stepped reefs. Maybe the above vessel missed one and your odds are up with bait.
  4. Stizzla

    Stizzla Crew Member

    Good sense of humour S.A.!
    If you want to break your streak of not getting skunked at salmon fishing, hit me up.
  5. ryanb

    ryanb Well-Known Member

    Lingcod aren't particularly hard to catch or terribly picky. If you're not catching they're likely not there. I've done well trolling plugs or big spoons for them. Not that it's better than a jig but you can cover more ground.
    ericl, saltydawg and SaltyAlice like this.
  6. Burban

    Burban Well-Known Member

    Sounds like your area is fairly picked over. Like ryanb said Lings are not picky and don't usually fight their instinct to hammer anything that moves. I usually plan a few spots out the night before, and hit them quickly. Watch your gps trail and cover your area in a grid, don't spend too much time in one place. Cover it thoroughly and move to the next spot to maximize your area covered. I find Lings usually hit quickly in the first few drops personally. I like anchovy jigs and the biiiiig rubber grubs.

    Ill also echo ryanb's second comment - trolling is a valid method as well, covers lots of ground and your fishing for salmon at the same time. I hit a 19lber a couple weeks back trolling an anchovy by a mound at 160'.
    SaltyAlice likes this.
  7. ILHG

    ILHG Crew Member

    I have research Lingcod lots & from what I have learned the majority of the biomass is in much deeper water. They can live in water up to 700' deep which keeps them out of range from most sport anglers. When I go for lingcod I always start in ~200'-300' of water. If its slower than expect I will go a bit deeper. You find way more fish & quality fish. Not to many people are interested in bringing up a ling from 300' deep.

    The "dark hair" charter boats probably don't go to the deep water. Give it a try, I think you will be surprised.
    MRWood, ericl, Burban and 1 other person like this.
  8. Ian wagner

    Ian wagner Active Member

    Try some real fish the smart ones don't like plastic or metal best is live bullheads or flounder
    SaltyAlice likes this.
  9. Ian wagner

    Ian wagner Active Member

    These local lings are not as stupid as offshore fish that will bites bare hook you can't beat live bait were fish have lots of fishing pressure
  10. SaltyAlice

    SaltyAlice Well-Known Member

    Epic advice, all! I’ll give it a shot this weekend and see how it goes. Wish me luck!
  11. Birdman

    Birdman Active Member

    Any advice for getting swim baits to work?

    I have purchased a number of them over the last couple of years, lighthouse, savage gear, etc. and despite trying them every time I go for lings, I can count the number of hits I have had on them on one hand, with no fish landed. On the other hand my usual 4 legged scampi tails, grub tails, metal jigs, or dead baits, have caught fish on the same days. Usually the other guys on my boat who are using my tried and true lures end up getting the first fish or two and I end up sheepishly switching out my tackle and then finally catching something. But I'd like my considerable $ investment to pay off!

    What is the best way to fish these things? I've tried drifting with the lure 5 to 10 feet off bottom, slow trolling, jigging, and drop to bottom/retrieve 10 to 20 feet/drop to bottom pattern.

    With the lighter swim baits under 6 oz are people running some sort of inline weight ahead of them?

    Please help and thanks!
  12. Birdman

    Birdman Active Member

    I should add this lack of success is in Straight of Georgia fishing, I haven't tried them on offshore west coast lings which in my experience are way more aggressive in deep water.
  13. AndrewH

    AndrewH Well-Known Member

    I got my largest by pure luck. Was jigging one spot with no results so fired up the kicker and with the jighead still 5ft off the bottom I moved to a new location. About 30 seconds into the 'location move/troll' my rod took a real hit and I had a 23# on line.
    BarryA and ILHG like this.
  14. tubby

    tubby Crew Member

    In heavier pressure waters, lingcod can be quite finicky biters, plus like any bottom fish are quite influence by certain tides, water clarity, etc. I've fished some spots where I've killed them before, for example on swimbaits, than went there a year later, caught one fish and almost left (after some half decent water pounding), than threw an achovie on the swimbait and started some consistent catching. 100% agree, in tough heavy pressure spots, live bait is the best. Another tip, again, when their not in the 'mood' or if the drift is too slow, you need to present a faster presentation horizontally. Why do you catch a lot of lings on your first drop in a new spot, than nothing, if you think it's the only one down there....well I'm not saying anything more.
    Tinny, ILHG and Stizzla like this.
  15. Waterwolf2230

    Waterwolf2230 Well-Known Member

    The best Lures that I’ve ever used for ling on the ECVI are Shimano Butterfly Jigs, minimum 160g but 200-250 are better. The bonus is that you’ll get springs on them as well.

    When there is a more pressure in an area it help to have a lure that initiates a reaction bite. The thing with them is that you have to back troll a bit so that you get the proper action on them. Your line should have minimal angle on it.

    With the swimbaits we found that adding a chunk of herring to it will increase its effectiveness.

    Our best afternoon on the east side of the Wilby Shoals we caught 10+ Ling between 10 and 20lbs. I find in that area as well that the big ones trail the bait so you don’t necessarily have to be on structure.

    Good luck!

    ILHG likes this.
  16. Aces

    Aces Well-Known Member

    Large herring....end thread
    beemer, NDT and Stizzla like this.
  17. Gerry Treger

    Gerry Treger New Member

    Tolling for Lingers: I have found that 6" Tomics painted mostly white have worked best for me. Those similar to 203, 156, 158 as examples.
  18. Rockfish

    Rockfish Well-Known Member

    Back when I used to Jig for them off the sides of deep reefs, I found using a very heavy stiff rod and a high retrieve ratio reel with strong line and a heavy drag made a big difference in getting them up once they hooked up. They have a nasty habit of going into their reef ledge/cave hiding spot and erecting their dorsal spines to jam themselves in place making them impossible to pull up. Some times you can let the line go slack and they will come out and you can retrieve them but often not. I found we got a lot more in the boat, if as soon as they hit you lift the rod up fast and high and reel like crazy to pull them away from the reef before they can use it to lock themselves in place.
  19. Tinny

    Tinny Well-Known Member

    Things I have noticed:

    1. There is a bite window around slack tide. It can be hot for half hour or one hour then dies off dramatically. Weak tidal current days are better than strong ones.
    2. Prime spots do not get fished out like they would with rockfish - territorial residents get caught, new ones move in. For example, thrasher is always producing Lings. How often do you catch rockfish there?
    3. Live bait works great. But when they are hungry and active anything works. On one occasion while fishing live bait I had a ling brought to the surface that hung onto the lead weight instead of the bait.
    4. Fast vertical jigging is a charm - drop, retrieve 50' or to surface fast but slowing down every once in a while to let them catch it. Once when jigging in 100' I decided to move on - brought the lure up fast within 15' or surface - slowed down to look at GPS - and that moment to my surprise a nice size ling hit.
    5. They are gluttons.
    6. They do not get spooked.
    7. They chase things that appear spooked by them.
    8. Live bait works because the poor bait fish on the hook goes crazy trying to flee once it sees a ling. This gets the ling excited.

    I do not fish live bait anymore because it takes the sport out of it. I also feel bad for the bait fish. I try to make my lure act like a frightened bait fish all the time. If you just jerk your rod up and down on the bottom your lure looks like a retarded death wish fish and the lings will circle it but not bite. They like the chase.
    drpower, Derby, ILHG and 1 other person like this.
  20. Fish Camp

    Fish Camp Well-Known Member

    have you tried raw Bacon on your jiggs?

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