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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