By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Can I Legally Fish Three Species At Once?
California Outdoors 11-11-20
Anglers in California can legally fish for multiple species at a time, such as first catching sanddab and squid with multiple hooks, and then switching over to a two-hook rig for rockfish. Photo Courtesy Of CDFW

Fishing For Multiple Species

Question: I would like to fish for sanddab, squid and rockfish on the same day. Can I do that legally? I believe it would be legal to first catch sanddab and squid with multiple hooks, and then switch over to a two-hook rig for rockfish? (Michael)

Answer: The setup you described would work. The general regulation is that you can use any number of hooks and lines to catch finfish in ocean waters, per California Code of Regulations (CCR) Title 14, section 28.65. But there are exceptions. When fishing for or in possession of rockfish, you may use only one line with no more than two hooks. There also may be geographic limitations. For example, if you are fishing in the San Francisco Bay you may use only one line with not more than three hooks. See section 28.65 for additional restrictions.

You also must adhere to the regulations for each species you mentioned. There’s no bag limit for sanddab in California, per CCR Title 14, sections 28.48 and 27.60, and no possession limit, per section 27.60(a). And while there’s no general bag limit on the take of squid (see CCR Title 14, section 29.70), there are geographic limitations (see section 29.05).

The limits on rockfish are more complex. When fishing in the ocean you can take no more than 20 finfish, with no more than 10 of a single species, per CCR Title 14, section 27.60. There are a number of laws that aggregate several species into a limit such as the Rockfish/Greenling/Cabezon Complex limit of 10.

Bottom line: There’s nothing preventing you from first catching sanddab and squid using multiple lines and hooks, then switching to a two-hook rig for rockfish. You can fish for sanddab, squid and rockfish in the same day as long as you adhere to the most restrictive method of take for the species you are fishing for or have in your possession.


When Is It Ok To Borrow A Shotgun?

Question: I’d like to know if I can borrow my dad’s shotgun to go hunt dove. My dad is not going this year since he is busy. I have my hunting license and a Firearm Safety Certificate, too. (Ricky)

Answer: California’s second hunt period for mourning dove, white-winged dove, spotted dove and ringed turtle dove runs from Saturday, Nov. 14 through Monday, Dec. 28 this year – and yes, you can borrow your dad’s shotgun, under California Penal Code, section 27880!

Penal Code, section 27545 requires that in most situations, the sale, loan or transfer shall be completed through a licensed firearms dealer. But according to section 27950, “section 27545 does not apply to the loan of a firearm, other than a handgun, to a licensed hunter for use by that hunter for a period of time not to exceed the duration of the hunting season for which the firearm is to be used.”

We hope you have great success!


State Fishing Records

Question: I would love to know what the record is for largest yellowtail. Where would I find that information? (Todd)

Answer: CDFW maintains a web page with all our state fishing records, as well as instructions for submitting new records. We keep records for both ocean diving and angling, as well as freshwater angling. You’ll see on the list that we have two records for yellowtail. The ocean angling record is 63 lbs., 1 oz., caught off of Santa Barbara Island in 2000. The freediving record is 65 lbs., caught near Cortez Bank (San Diego) in 1988.


Archery vs. “General” Season

Question: I have a question about the tree squirrel regulations. I know archery season is Aug. 1 through Sept. 11, and general rifle season is Sep. 12 through Jan. 31. After the archery season for squirrel closes on Sept. 11 and general rifle season opens, can you still hunt with bow instead of rifle until Jan. 31? (Tony)

Answer: Yes, you can archery hunt during both periods. The first half of the season is actually called “Archery/Falconry Only” season, so those are the only methods of take allowed during that time. “General” season, which opens on Sept. 12, allows for all three methods of take: archery, falconry and firearm.


If you have a question you would like to see answered in the California Outdoors Q and A column, email it to