Saturday, June 28, 2008

Overcast skies, light winds and small surf made this week a good one for surf fishing.

It was great to see the South swell of last week break down and be replaced by a waist high West swell that has greatly improved fishing this week.

The water temps are topping 67-72 degrees in most areas and has really turned on the fish to bite. The big story has been the halibut bite from both the beach and boat. Yesterday's report of a 48 pound halibut taken in the South Bay reminds us that there are some really big fish out there--and hopefully we won't hook them in the surf!

Back in the surf, the halibut fishing has been phenomenal. This week I've had reports, and seen with my own eyes, butts pulled in from Santa Barbara to San Diego. Although a couple were caught on dead anchovy, the largest number have been on the Lucky Craft lure. This hard bait, that skims across the bottom on retrieve, has proven itself over and over as the halibut killer this past couple of weeks.

Nice fish J.W. on the Lucky Craft!

Because this lure has been discontinued it has been hard to find at tackle shops and online. BUT GOOD NEWS!! The Lucky Craft flash minnow is coming out of retirement. Management has been convinced that the lure will sell well on the West Coast and will be reintroduce next month. I plan to carry them in my tackle store and will keep you informed when they are shipped. The new lure will come in only four styles: Zebra Sardine, Candy Sardine, Metallic Sardine and Lazer Ghost Sardine. I know they're expensive so I'll try to cut a deal to keep the price down...

Dre's SB Halibut

One last note regrading halibut fishing. The common denominator with most of these fish is where and at what tide they have been caught. All areas where fresh, salt or brackish water meets the ocean have been good. In Santa Barbara near campus point and the SB harbor, in Ventura near the Santa Clara rivermouth, Del Rey Harbor, King Harbor, San Gabriel River, Bolsa Chica, Santa Ana rivermouth, Trestles, Oceanside out-fall, Tijuana river and so on. The choice tide has been slack dead low tide and slack dead high tide. Try checking Google earth for the estuary/creek/outfall near your favorite fishing spot and get down to the beach and give'em a shot!

In addition to halibut, the corbina fishing has been very good with some real monsters caught in the surf. Yesterday's patience and a nice soft crab on the carolina rig was the trick for catching the big one. After a good ten minute fight this fish came up on shore for a picture and release. She was 26+ inches and about 7pounds--a real monster!

Congrats Rob on your first Corbina--I think you otta kiss it!

Also, don't forget about the perch. They have been tearing up the surf for months and still are going strong.
Well, this weekend and next week have some great tides, lots of available sand crabs and only a modest up-tick in the swell. Look for a great week of fishing almost every beach south of Canada!

So that's all the time I have today to be typing this blog--It's time for me to get down to the surf--I sure hope you have a chance to get down there too!

P.S. if you haven't checked out my audio report what are you waiting for? You'll find it on my front page...

Friday, June 20, 2008

This week started off with a bang!

Great surf fishing was reported up and down the coast early this week. But a strong south swell began to fill in on Wednesday and knocked down the fishing by week's end.

Although that was bad news in the short term, the swell helped clean up the water and raise the water temps into the 65-67 range.

Sunday and Monday's fishing this week was excellent with the yellowfin croaker in a feeding frenzy.

Because of the large waves this week, I used the carolina rig with a heavy sliding sinker and a short leader to keep on the bottom. There are plenty of sand crabs for bait and also mussel threaded on the hook works well too.

All of the yellowfin were caught on the beach. A good way to spot them is by looking for the sea birds that dive in the surfline for bait--usually they are right below them pushing the bait up.

I didn't hear of as many halibut being caught this week but once the swell calms it's sure to get good again.

Take a look at my audio fish report if you haven't already and let me know what you think and if you'd like to see a new report each week.

Well, it looks like this weekend's beach conditions will have diminishing surf, as it was smaller today, and some great morning low tides going to mid day high tide.

I like to fish these tides for corbina as they will slide up the beach from low to high tide looking for sand crabs.

Good luck down there and keep sending me your reports and pics!

Friday, June 13, 2008

All the signs of summer are here and it's time to get down to the beach...

I guess that's why I went fishing five times this week!

A strong south swell this week helped to improve fishing all along the Southern California coast. Early morning south winds, combined with a modest south swell helped to push warm clear water up into Orange County. In the last week alone the water temp rose from 60 to 66 almost overnight.

Warm weather, calm seas and a some excellent morning and evening high tides should make for some great fishing this weekend.

Making bait last night and today has been a pleasure. Huge beds of sand crabs are almost everywhere with many large soft baits. Be sure when you find them take just what you need and let the rest go--they're one of our only free baits left.

With sand crabs I usually look for two kinds: The soft shell (about like if you push in the side of a pop can) crab and the dime sized crab. Any size soft is good. Dime sized crabs seem to work when both soft and hard as the fish find them easy to swallow.

After getting plenty of both --I fished up the coast from Sunset Beach to the Huntington Cliffs.

Today was exceptional with a great start to the summer. The overcast morning with a modest south wind did not slow the fishing at all. Plenty of perch as usual with a great variety of fish near the rocks. When fishing the beach I used a 3/4oz sliding sinker on my carolina rig to keep the bait on the bottom. When there are bigger waves, wind or a strong current I use a heavier sinker. It's seems like sometimes it is easier for the fish to find the bait than the bait to find the fish.

On the rocks I will always use a 1/4th oz sinker. A light sinker reduces the chances of getting hung up on the rocks and lets you get your bait into crevices and areas where you would normally be snagged. Always remember to use a sharp thin wire hook.

Some good baits to try now are sand crabs, mussel, hard baits like Luckycraft or Rapalla, ghost shrimp and lug worms. If you're looking for halibut try throwing the Lucky or Rapalla or a jerk bait on the drop shot rig at peak high tide going to low tide. The halibut have been very active at that time of tide--as I have seen seven taken then in the last two weeks.

The highlight of the day was a great job of balancing and fighting the fish by Casey aka Team 57's "TackleJunkie." Check out his video--he's gone worldwide!

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