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Old 01-02-2021, 10:36 AM   #1
GregB
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Best habitat to fish for sole and flounder?

Now that we're in the rockfish closure I was thinking of targeting starry flounder, petrales and rock sole out of San Pedro. After all, they're freakin' delicious baked and covered with crab and bacon. Beyond looking for sand bottoms around 150 foot+, maybe nearby rocky structure, anyone have tips on strategy? Thanks and Happy New Year!
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Old 01-02-2021, 05:39 PM   #2
Saba Slayer
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Bycatch

Delicious...but like eating Trout...it takes a little work and technique to get to the meat without lots of bones...
I always seem to get into them when I drift off the rockfish hard bottom spots...sooo...look for rockfish marks then drift off em...LOL
They don’t seem depth specific...if there’s lots of em and they’re suspended off the bottom I usually see them on the meter as sort of a blue haze or condensed speckles on the ‘softer/mud’ colored bottom...(not red)
They’ve been a pretty pesky bycatch lately...good news is that they swim right back down with no biotramma
��Be sure to bring a descending device to return any rockfish you might catch��
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Old 01-02-2021, 08:55 PM   #3
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Whoa that is what I call a mess of fish. I like cooking them, lifting one side of meat off with a fork, then flipping and doing same. Minimal bone issues. And if the panko crust is hard enough, wow. Thanks for the tips, Jim! (And amen to the descender ... can't understand why it isn't embraced more in SoCal. Throwing away future lunkers never made sense to me. And with the new verm limits coming up, even more important.) Happy New Year!
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Old 01-02-2021, 08:58 PM   #4
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If you want sand dabs, they're everywhere! Some get pretty big to where you can actually fillet them. I've had success on bigger dabs using artificials, like gulp jerk shads, over squid which catches any and all sizes of them.

As for other soles, sandy bottom at any depth really. Have gotten starry flounder in shallows and I see them, tonguefish, and fantails all the time diving at night along with the obvious halibut.

I nailed a 20" fantail last year drifting a piece of squid really deep on the way back in to a harbor. Could never replicate that catch again, but if you can, the payoff is worth it!
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Old 01-03-2021, 08:14 AM   #5
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I'd love to see pics of any interesting flatfish people have caught from San Pedro south. Personally I've caught CA halibut, fantail sole, diamond turbot, Pacific sanddab, speckled sanddab, and longfin sanddab, but I'm very curious what else is common enough to go looking for. I know I've seen people post bigmouth sole pics. I've heard petrale sole mentioned a few times, but I'm not sure I've seen a pic from Socal. Lots of dive pics of turbots/soles like CO sole, spotted turbot, etc, but no one seems to catch them hook & line.

StrikerMC, how deep do you find those tonguefish? That's definitely a cool one!
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Old 01-03-2021, 01:55 PM   #6
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Nice to see a good haul of a fish that still has a generous 10 fish limit.
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Old 01-03-2021, 03:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StrikerMC View Post
If you want sand dabs, they're everywhere! Some get pretty big to where you can actually fillet them. I've had success on bigger dabs using artificials, like gulp jerk shads, over squid which catches any and all sizes of them.

As for other soles, sandy bottom at any depth really. Have gotten starry flounder in shallows and I see them, tonguefish, and fantails all the time diving at night along with the obvious halibut.

I nailed a 20" fantail last year drifting a piece of squid really deep on the way back in to a harbor. Could never replicate that catch again, but if you can, the payoff is worth it!
Oh yeah ... love the dabs. Tasty. But man I'd like to find a shoal of larger-model flounder shingled up. That meat. If you ever get up to SF and have dough to blow, the Tadich Grill does one covered in crab and I think hollandaise. Blew my mind.
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Old 01-03-2021, 03:48 PM   #8
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Nice to see a good haul of a fish that still has a generous 10 fish limit.
No limit on them... catch all you want.
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So long and thanks for all the fish...
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Old 01-03-2021, 04:14 PM   #9
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🤙🏽

X2 🤙🏽
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No limit on them... catch all you want.
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Old 01-04-2021, 09:37 AM   #10
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Saba, that is a beautiful shot of a load of flatfish!

I bet if they're small enough you could deep fry them whole and crunch the bones
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Old 01-04-2021, 10:46 AM   #11
summers in kuwait
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Be sure to bring a descending device to return any rockfish you might catch


Very nice Jim and great point about the descending device. A must have!
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Old 01-04-2021, 06:15 PM   #12
JohnMckroidJr
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No limit on them... catch all you want.
That what I remembered from when I lived in SoCal, but when I googled it ,misread the regs. It's the rock sole, sand sole, butter sole, curlfin sole, rex sole, and flathead sole that have the 10fish limit. Thanks for the correction.
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Old 01-04-2021, 07:59 PM   #13
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Get a free descender here:

https://oceaned.org/request-devices/
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Old 01-05-2021, 02:50 PM   #14
summers in kuwait
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Get a free descender here:

https://oceaned.org/request-devices/
Yep. Not to hijack the thread, but free device. Donate if you can. Very simple and easy to use. Plus you can even run it in line with a rig, if needed.

Been using mine for a few years now and it works well.
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Old 01-07-2021, 07:03 PM   #15
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oh glory days

Back in the old days (just 2-3 years ago) people here were talking 30-40-50 pound fish, battling tuna. Now - sand dabs... 🙄 Global warming, I guess?

Focusing on the flat bycatch, first question out of the water:
How do you make sure it's not a baby halibut ?
Below is some help, but I still don't see a definitive rule.
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Last edited by govomit; 01-07-2021 at 07:08 PM. Reason: added pic
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Old 01-07-2021, 08:04 PM   #16
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bloody

Put your finger in the mouth and bring it out quickly...if its bloody and cut, you've got a Halibut...LOL...
Look at the lateral line on the halibut pics and on the sand dabs/sole...the line is straight on the Dabs and has a hook in it on the Halibut
The tail shape is different on the Halibut also...
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Old 01-07-2021, 10:49 PM   #17
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Turbot is my favorite flavor of pop tart.
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To those that share thank you, to those that don't fine by me, to those that whine about people not posting but have no fish reports of their own to share..............GO FISH!!!!!!
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Old 01-08-2021, 09:40 AM   #18
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how to I tell the difference between a baby ling and a trophy lizardfish?
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Old 01-09-2021, 02:30 PM   #19
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how to I tell the difference between a baby ling and a trophy lizardfish?
Looks like lingcod has lips that you want to kiss, haha.
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Old 01-11-2021, 12:32 PM   #20
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i havent been able to find a dedicated sole/turbot/flounder location, but the sand dabs are thick out there. people try to go really deep, but i've had some decent luck on good grade dabs in 250-300'. no size limit. no max hook quantity limit. reel slow so they don't spin off.

i know a petrole sole spot where we caught 8 fish from 12-18" in 2 drifts... but it's at catalina in 120-160'.
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