Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday brought great weather and calm seas back to the Orange County beaches.

After what seemed like forever, we finally have calm winds and warm days at the beach. Just two weeks ago I found this year's first sand crab. So today, I decided to go down to the beach at high tide and try to find more.

I first noticed the water had turned over and was cloudy and green. The strong winds that have blown over the last couple of weeks have really churned things up and cooled down the water. Crabs were hard to come by even using the sand rake, but I did get ten of all different sizes and one nice soft shell.

This weekend promises some very warm weather and calm sea conditions. I think in the next two weeks we are really going to find some good fishing and many more crabs who have made it back up to the surface after their winter hibernation.

After spending forty-five minutes catching bait--let's see that's about a crab every 4.5minutes (not very good!)--I moved up the beach and found an area where rocks meet sand and did a bit of fishin'. I used both sand crabs and sidewinders and caught a couple of nice fish.

A nice walleye perch
Conditions were still not exactly right. Without question the water has to clear up a bit and settle before we're back to the great fishing we had before all these storms.

This weekend through next Wednesday gives the promise of some great surf fishing. We have some beautiful morning high tides and some deep afternoon low tides. Next weekend we'll see some very flat tides--tides that always send me to the jetties--especially when the waves are small and I can get a good shot at the perch and croaker who live in the rocks.
A forktail barred surf perch

Don't forget about my upcoming "Introduction to Light-Line Surf Fishing" seminar at Sav-On Tackle in Santa Fe Springs on April 10th at 6:30pm. Space is limited so please call the store (562) 864-2911 or drop us an email to: . Let us know your name and how many guests you'll be bringing with you.

I'll be discussing what equipment to use, how to rig for fishing the surf, baits and how to find fish on the beach--and the best part is that it's FREE!

See you there!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Mid week in central Orange County had some rather calm conditions and the hope for an early spring. NOT...

Today was no less than "victory at sea." Huge surf pushed by 40 mile and hour winds pummeled the coast. The beach today looked like drifting snow blowing a foot above the ground. You could look across the beach and not see a footprint. The wind was scaring the sands surface and I felt like Lawrence of Arabia as I crossed the beach to try to find some bait.

It looks like it will take a few days for the conditions to improve, and I think they will, as we have some great tides next week--but come on... who's kidding themselves? The fish are hungry and they have to eat!

The best news of the week was the first substantial find of sand crabs. The water is just warm enough for them to come to the surface. They are a bit spread out but look for areas where warm water exists (like stagnet water near jetties or exposed beach) and you'll find them just below the high tide mark. The best time to find crabs this time of year is during high tide.

Thanks to all the folks who came by to see us at the Fred Hall show and thanks for all those great pictures on your iphone, cellphone, camera and in print. Wow, has fishing ever changed. I was amazed by one devout surf fisherman. He was happy to say that my book helped him catch more fish and in fact his first corbina. Which he showed me on his iphone and then went to google earth, punched up the exact spot and zoomed in so we could see where the fish was caught. WOW, now that's unbelievable!

John's nice corbina taken last week in Ventura. This proves they are starting to show!

I'll be adding a new slide show to my front page called "Hall of Fame" where folks who send in their surf fish pictures will be posted. I received dozens of pictures in the last year and this will be a great place to share them. Please keep sending your pics and fish stories to:

Wayne's beautiful redtail surf perch taken on slider grubs (he won in last year's Fred Hall raffle) last July at Gull Beach, Humboldt County--Nice going Wayne!

Coming up in April I'll be having a surf fishing seminar at Sav-on Tackle in Santa Fe Springs. We should have the details worked out next week so check back to find the day, time and how to register.