If you ask - many fisherman will explain August can be a tough month to catch Rockfish.
They tend to school up in tight pockets and move around - one reason for the huge fleets of Recs / Charters / Hook and Liners. No doubt many are taken but not all of them. The " hot spot " that becomes barren can be because the school moved.
Add in very plentiful food ( small minnows , crabs , young of year fish , etc ) and it can seem all of the fish have been caught.
Fast forward to late September / October and suddenly there are many 24 to 30 inch Rock that are easy to catch. They feed heavily preparing for cooler weather when baitfish are not around as thick.
What could be more mundane than dying of old age or of natural causes when there is death by misadventure to be pursued ? Skip