Monday, February 18, 2008

Left the surf behind this weekend and headed south of the border to Punta Colonet Mexico aboard the Apollo for some yellowtail and rock cod fishing.

We arrived at the fishing grounds about 8am Saturday and drifted along with the Black Pearl, Vagabond and a couple other boats.

Our first order of business was to do some yellowtail yo-yoing. I tied on the blue and white salas 6x I used last year to catch a yellow and dropped her down about 125feet. About as soon as I hit the bottom a guy in the stearn was hooked up. I put it in gear and reeled. Then I dropped it again and pointed my rod at the jig and reeled. Again and again!

I must say I was some what discouraged after a dozen times and felt ready to grab another rod and try to catch a red rockcod as the guy next to me so easily did. But noooo--I'll drop again.

And thank goodness! Wham, Bam, you're pinned to the rail man! AAH! I'm on and float'in down the rail like the space shuttle with the fish in command. After a few minutes of give and take she was to the boat and gaffed--an nice 20+ pound yellow--making it two years in a row for yellows at Colonet.

We fished yo-yo for another hour and moved on the bottom fish. All day we had a good pick--but not without much work and toil. The best setup is to use Spectra/Braid and a 70foot 40lb topshot. I tie my leaders at home and they consist of a barrel swivel at top, a dropper loop or two in the middle with a 4/0 "J" style bait hook, and a number 7 snap swivel at the bottom attached to a 12 ounce sinker in the morning and a 16oz sinker later in the day as the wind comes up.

We ended up with limits and lots of good memories, aches and pains. The crew on the Apollo out of Fisherman's Landing are always great and I recommend these trips to anyone. If you want to learn more about the techniques, rigging, baits and tackle you need for these yellowtail and cod trips look at this month's edition of Fish Taco Chronicles.

Back to surf fishing--The high surf, wind and rain has made fishing a challenge this past month but it's still had it's good days. Over the last week I've had good surf fish reports from Santa Barbara for halibut, Ventura for perch and San Diego--no huge catches but a good consistent perch bite with the occasional spotfin, halibut and yellowfin croaker.

This week affords us some great tides but we're still going to have to put up with the wind and rain as a new set of storms approaches the West.

Look for breaks between the storms and try to fish near rock structure or look for newly formed offshore troughs were the fish may be hiding from the surg and surf. This time of year I like to fan cast a grub as I walk down the beach. This gives me a chance to find the holes their hiding in.

In the next few days I'll post my Fred Hall Seminar times on At the seminars I plan to cover the basics of light-line surf fishing including: equipment, rigging, bait and finding fish at the beach. Although these seminars are not advanced classes they do hold a few of my secrets! Hope to see you there and at our booth...

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Finally calm seas, small waves and fish!

The week saw a big improvement in surf fishing conditions. Now that the wind and the rain have stopped the conditions have really improved.

The water is a bit cleaner with most of the trash and flora having come ashore. As the surf has subsided it has also allowed the ocean to settle down and the water clarity to improve.

Today's fishing was much better than last week and there was no doubt the fish are hungry. Although it's a long way from great there was a good bite on 10inch perch and a handfull of 12-14inch yellowfin croaker.

One lucky fisherman just down the rocks from me hooked and landed a 10lb halibut on a 5" smelt pattern swimbait. Other guys I talked to also had luck on the open beach with a wide-open yellowfin croaker bite using ghost shrimp. All these fish were caught between 1/2 hour after high tide to 2 hours after high tide.

I used lug worms threaded up a split shot hook on the carolina rig to fish central Huntington Beach. Great tides this week and weekend due to a strong morning high tide followed by an outgoing afternoon low tide.

Look for areas where new troughs have formed or near rock formations. Fish will use these areas in winter to hide from the blowing wind and rushing surg of surf. Good baits to use this time of year include lug worms, ghost shrimp and plastic grubs with hot sauce. For more information on these baits visit my web site: and click on BAIT. You may also send me an email question to:

Good fishing and well see you at the upcoming Fred Hall Show March 5-9, 2008 !!