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Catching up with fish

Striped rockfish

What can we learn from this fish finder screen?

Striped rockfish Drop your bait above the water column and prepare for some action!

This screenshot was taken with the boat slowly moving at a speed of 0.2 knots or roughly the speed of a normal person walking. On the left side of the fish finder image, you can see what captured echoes looks like in 50 kHz, and 200 kHz on the right side.

Fish finder screen explained

  • Water depth: 19.8 m
  • Bottom structure: A combination of sand, mud, and rocks.
  • Fish school echo: Above the rock reef area

Today's game was striped rockfish, which usually form fish schools when they swim around. Striped rockfish is a species we can target throughout the year, with the best timing during June and July when they come to the shallow shoreline to spawn. Often they choose rocky reef areas with sea current flows to lay their eggs. So we searched for peaks of risen seabed and fish school echoes on our fish finder. Specifically, we were looking for fish echoes 2-3 m above the peak. It is good to know that striped rockfish tend to swim above the peak, not around the peak. If you find a school of fish targets that are covering the peak, that would be a different species of fish, such as Puller and Half-lined cardinal.

Striped rockfish are not the most difficult kind to catch, but they will change where to swim temporarily depending on the sea current. For instance, striped rockfish do not hunt their food when the sea current is still. Sea current here means the current along the seabed where the striped rockfish live, not current caused by the tide. Therefore it is natural that you might face a situation where you will not see any action, even though you are seeing a clear fish echo right beneath the boat.

On the contrary, when the fish finder catches the fish echo on and off, it may be a great chance for you, because the striped rockfish are quite likely to be hunting their food while swimming against the sea current. Once you are able to recognize the fish’s activities, tight lines and a good catches are at your hand.

  • Striped rockfish Striped rockfish are well known as a summer fish, but very delicious to eat in winter as well, because they store fat to survive winter.
  • Striped rockfish Swimming direction varies when current is pretty slow. In such a case striped rockfish are not the mood for feeding.

Writer introduction

Nobuaki Ono, FURUNO field tester.

DAIWA field tester, Writer at Boat Club, a monthly Japanese boating publication

Nobuaki is a hobby angler who travels around Japan together with his beloved car-top boat Tomoe-maru. With a keen interest in fishing as well as scuba diving, he has gained a substantial amount of knowledge in how to utilize fish finders to the fullest. Nobuaki regularly holds well-attended training courses in the use of fish finders, as well as being a proponent for proper sea manners and safety at sea. Sharing his knowledge is a passion for Nobuaki, and he manages his own homepage as well as being a sought after writer in Japanese boating publications.