Rockfish Species

Rockfish Species

blue rock cod

Rockfish are various species of saltwater fish that inhabit rocky areas. There are 102 rockfish species worldwide, ranging from Australia to the Pacific Coast where there’s 65 species. If you’re a local Californian like myself then you’ll know they are commonly found in the coastal waters. They are also referenced underneath a larger category called bottomfish.

Unlike lingcod, rockcod have air bladders, allowing them to easily float in water columns without the use of their fins. This ability combined with their large mouths, make rockfish a deadly predator to small species like shrimp. Their aggressive nature and tendency to move in large schools makes them both easy to locate and catch.

Due to their air bladder, they have a high mortality rate when caught and released by anglers. Bringing up the fish too quickly causes a pressure change and the air bladder inflates, making it impossible for the fish to swim back down. If you catch a rockfish and plan to release it, then you’ll want to deflate the air bladder with a hypodermic needle first. When handling a rockfish watch out for it’s first dorsal fin as it contains a mild poison.

Rockfish are a species that grow slowly, can live up to and even past one hundreds years old and reproduce at age ten on average. They are quite smart and will inspect and strike an artificial lure. If you don’t set hook of the first strike or two then don’t expect it to latch on like a lingcod. A great tip on how to counter their ability to recognize an artificial lure is to constantly rotate which style and color lures you use.

Here’s a list of rockfish species.

Boccacio (Sebastes paucispinis)
Chillipeper (Sebastes goodei)

Dwarf-red rockfish (Sebastes rufinanus)
Halfbanded rockfish (Sebastes semicinctus)
Pacific Ocean perch (Sebastes alutus)
Redstripe rockfish (Sebastes proriger)
Shortbelly rockfish (Sebastes jordani)
Yellowmouth rockfish (Sebastes reedi)

Aleutian scorpionfish (Adelosebastes latens)
Aurora rockfish (Sebastes aurora)
Blackgill rockfish (Sebastes melanostomus)
Broadbanded thornyhead (Sebastolobus macrochir)
Canary rockfish (Sebastes pinniger)
Chameleon rockfish (Sebastes phillipsi)
Cowcod (Sebastes levis)
Darkblotched rockfish (Sebastes crameri)
Harlequin rockfish (Sebastes variegatus)
Longspine thornyhead (Sebastolobus altivelis)
Mexican rockfish (Sebastes macdonaldi)
Rougheye rockfish (Sebastes aleutianus)
Semaphore rockfish (Sebastes melanosema)
Sharpchin rockfish (Sebastes zacentrus)
Shortraker rockfish (Sebastes borealis)
Shortspine thornyhead (Sebastolobus alascanus)
Splitnose rockfish (Sebastes diploproa)
Stripetail rockfish (Sebastes saxicola)
Vermilion rockfish (Sebastes miniatus)
Yelloweye rockfish (Sebastes ruberrimus)

Bank rockfish (Sebastes rufus)
Northern rockfish (Sebastes polyspinis)

Calico rockfish (Sebastes dalli)
Copper rockfish (Sebastes caurinus)
Greenstriped rockfish (Sebastes elongatus)
Puget Sound rockfish (Sebastes emphaeus)
Pygmy rockfish (Sebastes wilsoni)

Black rockfish (Sebastes melanops)
Blue rockfish (Sebastes mystinus)
Dark dusky rockfish (Sebastes sp. cf. ciliatus)
Gray rockfish (Sebastes glaucus)
Light dusky rockfish (Sebastes ciliatus)
Olive rockfish (Sebastes serranoides)
Silvergray rockfish (Sebastes brevispinis)
Speckled rockfish (Sebastes ovalis)
Squarespot rockfish (Sebastes hopkinsi)
Widow rockfish (Sebastes entomelas)
Yellowtail rockfish (Sebastes flavidus)

Black-and-yellow rockfish (Sebastes chrysomelas)
Brown rockfish (Sebastes auriculatus)
China rockfish (Sebastes nebulosus)
Gopher rockfish (Sebastes carnatus)
Grass rockfish (Sebastes rastrelliger)
Kelp rockfish (Sebastes atrovirens)
Quillback rockfish (Sebastes maliger)

Redbanded rockfish (Sebastes babcocki)
Flag rockfish (Sebastes rubrivinctus)
Tiger rockfish (Sebastes nigrocinctus)
Treefish (Sebastes serriceps)

Bronzespotted rockfish (Sebastes gilli)
Freckled rockfish (Sebastes lentiginosus)
Greenblotched rockfish (Sebastes rosenblatti)
Greenspotted rockfish (Sebastes chlorostictus)
Honeycomb rockfish (Sebastes umbrosus)
Pink rockfish (Sebastes eos)
Pinkrose rockfish (Sebastes simulator)
Rosethorn rockfish (Sebastes helvomaculatus)
Rosy rockfish (Sebastes rosaceus)
Southern rockfish (Sebastes notius)
Starry rockfish (Sebastes constellatus)
Swordspine rockfish (Sebastes ensifer)