Live rock cod as lingcod bait

Discussion in 'Saltwater Fishing Forum' started by Danfab, Aug 5, 2018.

  1. Danfab

    Danfab New Member

    Long time lurker first time poster.

    So here I am in area 16-4 Pender / Sunshine coast going for Lingcod. I met a guy on the dock who uses live rock cod as ling bait. I heard of this before but I always thought it was illegal. I assume he knew it wasn't illegal as he had no issues telling this to me and he appeared to be an old salt.

    So I've scoured the DFO area 16 regs, no specification on not using live rock cod / shiner / herring to bait lings.

    Here is the latest DFO on "Fin fish" (like salmon doesn't have fins haha) and again no mention on illegal use of rock cod or other live fish to bait lingcod.

    I searched as well, some have mentioned moral issues doing this, but I also do not see rock cod or cod in general on the endangered species list.

    Thoughts on this? I'm ready to try it...
  2. halimark

    halimark Well-Known Member

    WHY, ling are very aggressive and usually take any jig readily. There is a limit on rockfish most areas, and many stocks are in trouble, that's why most who are in the know now have descending devises on their boats, why allow your daily catch to be wasted? After you loose a "bait" are you going to catch another? Just use herring, or a top hoochie mounted pipe jig. Does not matter if legal or not, not really ethical in todays thinking, let the rockfish breed.

    saltydawg, seascene, getbent and 2 others like this.
  3. Danfab

    Danfab New Member

    Ok thanks for the response,

    I found the Canada Fisheries Act

    Looked that the regulations section

    And General Prohibitions

    Pacific Fisheries Regulation > Part 1.6 > Prohibited fishing methods SOR/93-54

    British Columbia Sport Fishing Regulations, 1996 (SOR/96-137) , part 2 > Part II.30 gear restrictions refers to schedule IV for methods

    Schedule IV > part 6 for Lingcod mentions nothing about using live bait (Rock Cod, Shiners, Anchovy / Herring etc...)

    Still no mention on using live bait (Rock Cod or otherwise) for catching Lingcod.

    Any other suggestions?

    I've emailed a question to my local co, after that I feel I've done my due diligence and I'm ready to try this.
  4. Danfab

    Danfab New Member

    Good point, you know in 40 years of fishing I rarely see or hear people retaining rock cod especially since they basically banned it in area 28-29 for about the last 20 years now. With salmon and lingcod in this area, why fish for rock cod at a fraction of the size? Waste of gas if you ask me. If the stocks are low, its probably b/c of their predators ... dogfish, seals and lingcods. Aside from camouflage some prickly quills, rock cod are near defenseless, not even great swimmers. I did see the morality issue when I searched this topic. But my specific question is if I get checked by the co, will I be questioned about using live rock cod as bait?

    I've emailed the local co.
  5. Rain City

    Rain City Crew Member

    I thought it fell under "wasting" your catch. Can't be bothered to look it up but someone posted it a while back.
  6. Cuba Libre

    Cuba Libre Well-Known Member

    Just a couple of points Dan. You left out one main rockfish predator..... US. Rockfish are prized over much of the orient and pretty much anywhere in the Asian culture. This has led to numerous depletions for this long lived fish. Its not just Joe Sixpack feeding an eagle a rockie to get that awesome photo or maximizing his daily limits. Have a look at some of the webpages of many charter operations too. See all the yellow and brown pumpkins on the dock next to the flatties and silver fish ??? Think commercial draggers, mid water trawling, long-lining and live rockfish hook and line fisheries. Yup--- we DO share the blame.

    And another small point--- learn the differences between COs ( Conservation Officers) and FOs (Fishery Officers ) . If you sent an email to a CO about rockfish, you will most likely get referred back to DFO.

    Cheers Me
  7. Danfab

    Danfab New Member

    Right I always get CO and FO mixed up, I meant FO of course.

    Good point, I just mean that most people I see at the dock (area 16, 28, 29 typically), are going after the big stuff salmon, lingcod, halibut... I mean if you're going to spend $50+ in gas plus launch fees why bother with rock cod at a couple pounds each at best? I only fill rock cod quota so I don't come empty handed on a bad (or a short) day. But good point, they are sought after in Asian culture. Funny how they don't eat salmon. I don't get that.
  8. Ripperoflips

    Ripperoflips Member

    I'v caught ling's that took a rock cod that was hooked and not being used for bait and the ling wouldn't let go until he got in the net. No hooks in the ling. They are aggressive.
  9. fishbadger

    fishbadger Active Member

    Even if their populations weren't struggling in many areas, rockfish just don't seem to make good bait. . .not real hardy and the swim bladder thing prevents them from going up and down in the column and retaining any spunk.

  10. As others have said, the ethics of using rockfish as bait would preclude that practice for myself.

    But you seem focussed on what the regs might say about it. A quick search of the DFO site and I found this: Then under the fishing gear tab:

    Use of fish for bait
    When sport fishing, you may not waste any fish suitable for human consumption. However, you are allowed to use fish offal, herring, mackerel, northern anchovy and Pacific sardine as bait when fishing with traps.

    The answer can probably be articulated out of that.
    Stizzla and Rain City like this.
  11. Rain City

    Rain City Crew Member

  12. spring time

    spring time Well-Known Member

    There’s a reason why we have all these ROCKFISH conservation areas for a reason not just for the hell of it it for the protection of ROCKFISH fifteen years ago the were in serious decline why would you use something that needs are help as bait go buy herring or a jig they both work really well
    chipstealer and Rain City like this.
  13. Che

    Che Active Member

    Could you clarify what Yellow and Brown Pumpkins are? I'm aware of Pumpkinseed in some BC sloughs and lakes that provide a sport fishery. But I don't know much about the species enough to decipher a brown or yellow pumpkin? Are these some local name for rock fish?
  14. Che

    Che Active Member

    Never heard it before.

    Anyways, people are upset about using rock fish for bait? But I'm sure if big daddy ling chomped on to your quillback, nobody would complain.

    How about BC not requiring a rockfish descender?
  15. Danfab

    Danfab New Member

    Hey guys,

    Thanks for the responses, I'm still awaiting a response from the co about this. If it is illegal, I would like to know exactly where it is specified. I'm scoured the regs and Fisheries act.

    If you look at my op, I already mentioned that I understand the moral questions of this practice. My question is simply is it allowed or not? I'm not seeing anything in the regs to say that I can't do this considering I don't fish for rock cod anyways because <a> they are too easy <b> way too small. To be honest, it is kind of embarrassing to come back and say I got a couple of rock cod. I also do not know anyone that purposely fishes for rock cod. I've caught them by accident but the biggest is probably 1-3~ pounds, not even worth the effort to clean it. The way I see it, one 30" ling is going to eat a handful of tiny rock fish each day. I pull out one 30" ling and I just did the rock cod population a favour.

    If I can't use bait that can be consumed by humans, then what about the anchovies I use for salmon, chicken legs I use for crab and (canned) tuna I use for shrimp? Or is one species more worthy of protection than another considering anchovies, chicken, tuna and rock cod are not on the endangered species list? In fact they are not on the "threatened" or "vulnerable" list.
  16. cby

    cby Active Member

    Rock Cod is one of the best eating fish in the ocean. Hence why their depletion, particularly in the Asian market. Many of the key spots for rockfish have been wiped out. There used to be no limit on Rock Fish, Then it went to 8 per day, then to 4, then to 0 or 1 depending on area. Yes Ling cod will bite anything that moves. They even ate their own species. In the olden days used to use ling cod skins to catch huge ling cod, yes rock cod work as well. We used to call them HANGERS. From what I understand now by the regs now is you can not use any fish for human consumption as Bait. So no rock fish can be used. Also I believe when using traps for Crab you can only used Fish Offal, Herring, Anchovy, Mackrel as bait. You can not use Chicken legs or backs. Although I know people do this I believe it might be illegal. Yes Rock cod are over fished. Rock Fish should be BANNED in all areas until the species comes back. It takes forever for them to grow I believe a larger rock fish is like 25 years old.
  17. Rain City

    Rain City Crew Member

    Seemed pretty cut and dry a couple posts up. Not sure where the confusion still is. Of course some things are morally more contentious than others but if you're talking about the law than it's its THE LAW, not up for debate. This practice is illegal.
    As for eating rock fish I would happily take a 2-3 pound rockfish as much as a 10 pound ling anyday. Cleanest tasting fish in our waters. The smaller size is nice to fry whole. And I lose no sleep over taking my one rock fish a few times a year. There are way... bigger... fish... to... fry? :rolleyes:
  18. robertg

    robertg Member

    Reply To cby, where did you read in the sports fishing regulations that chicken parts can not be used in traps, I am curious because for the 30 years I have been fishing and reading the regs every year I have never seen any reference to using chicken parts
  19. cby

    cby Active Member

    Not sure where I saw this. I thought it was in the regs but looking again it is not there. Also it might have been what I read on this topic in using live bait for Ling cod. I know I saw it some where, but if its not in the regs I imagine it is legal. Sorry for the confusion on this. If I find something I will post.
  20. Derby

    Derby Crew Member

    it will be law in 2019....

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