2010/1/17 Rockfish / Mebaru
Order of Scorpaeniformes, this one comes without nasty stings and doesn’t tend to stay inside heavy obstacles like other family members such as scorpionfish. Rockfish grows to 35cm.
Habitat & Season
You can find them in abundance in docks and rocky shores throughout Japan. The best season is from winter to spring when microorganism are , but you can fish them all season.
Large school of Mebaru is suspending in mid range, small school of Mebaru can be found around but not inside light obstacles such as seaweed and boat ropes. They become fairly active and float to the surface from sunset to early morning or in any condition sunlight is limited. I’ve seen a school boling on the top water chasing crylls or anchovis.
In the night, they don’t shy so they are known to feed in shallow water even as knee deep.
Tackle & Flies
8-9 feet 4-6wt rod with intermediate fly line. In super shallow situation, floating line comes handy.
Use shrimp or small baitfish patterns, 6-10 in size, and mimic associated moves. Retrieve slow to mimic natural move, but occasional spasm can help triggering bites. In bright light and clear water situation, you may end up using tippet as thin as 7x.
Spot & Tactics
Rockfish, like any other fish who has a mouth with a protruding lower lip, are seeking food swimming above their depth. Rockfish are accustomed to feeding on volume of micro size baitfish or curstaceans, so they suspend in slow moving current and prefer ascending tide which makes the current run slower than descending one.