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Sebastes Miniatus



Reefs, offshore

6 - 7 pounds

14" - 22"

Vermilion Rockfish Game Fish Quality Very Good
Vermilion Rockfish Meal Quality Very Good
Vermilion Rockfish Fly Fishing Quality Poor

Vermilion Rockfish

Vermilion Rockfish
Also Known As: Rockfish  

Vermilion Rockfish (Sebastes miniatus) Fish Description

The Vermilion Rockfish, also commonly named the vermilion seaperch, red snapper, red rock cod, and rasher, is a bright red bodied and finned rockfish with plenty of black and grey mottling on its back and sides. They have a moderately deep and compressed body, with a curved profiled head and a largemouth. It has a slightly jutting lower jaw.

For vermilion rockfish, on the shorter side,  the mottling occurs to be more prominent and their fins are edged black.

Yelloweye and canary rockfish bear similarities to the vermilion and to distinguish the difference is by their lower jaw as the yelloweye and canary's lower jaw is scaleless and smooth to touch. Vermilion  have scales, and jaws rough to touch. The Vermilion rockfish can also often be confused with the Brown rockfish when found in deep water.


Diet and Size

Vermilion Rockfish predominantly consumes small fish, octopus, squids, and krill. The Vermilion rockfish averagely grow up to between 14 and 22 inches and weighs up to 15 pounds. The largest ever recorded for this fish was 30 inch.


Interesting Facts

  • Some rockfish may live up to a hundred years old.
  • Rockfish can become territorial and may choose to stay at a home site for years. 


Vermilion Rockfish - Fishing Techniques

Vermilion rockfish can be caught using longline gear, as they are often incidental catches in otter trawls, traps, and hook and line with other shellfish.

The same rig, bait, and techniques used for Bocaccio rockfish, like trawling, gillnetting, and hook and line, would work as well on a vermilion. 

Any angler fishing for a rockfish would only need to use a light tackle and a small hook bait rig. At times, no bait is required, but to make it more appealing a small strip of squid would do the trick. But when fishing for Vermilion rockfish in deepwater, a standard rig for vermilion rockfish with two hooks and a strip of squid or fish would be best. 


Habitat and Distribution

The Vermilion rockfish are predominantly found around rocky bottoms or reefs, at depths going from 100 to 500 ft, but some have been taken from depths up to 900 ft, where they hide among the many large boulders and stones. The majority of the vermilion rockfish time is spent at the bottom of the ocean. The young vermilion rockfish tend to inhabit more shallow waters like in kelp beds.

The Vermilion Rockfish are native to the Pacific Ocean, waters around western North America from Baja California to Alaska.