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Can a fish make a person laugh? Yes.

I’ve seen it countless times, whether it’s casting streamer flies or dropping jigs next to a kelp bed. The laughter breaks out as dozens of black rockfish blast out from their cover, sometimes all the way to the surface, to attack lures or flies. As more and more black rockfish join in the fray, the laughter fills the air. No, this isn’t the peak experience of a king run, not the backbreaking work of lifting a heavy halibut. Still, the sights and sounds of black rock fishing, whether the anglers use fly, spinning, or conventional gear, are unmistakably happy as the rockfish strike anything that moves.

This is the ideal way to end a day on a high note. It’s perfect for a kid who is new to fishing and needs some positive reinforcement. And, the black rockfish pandemonium often excites other fish to the scene. A few years back, we caught and released a 100 pound halibut on a little jigging rod in 25 feet of water. You never know who will crash this party.


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