The first week of July brought great fishing to Orange County beaches.
We had great weather this week, clear water and a medium west swell. Mornings at the beach alternated from clear and windy (from the west) to calm and foggy. Much of the kelp and trash that floated around in the inside surf last week has been brought to shore and will hopefully make it to the trash can!
Three types of fish highlighted the surf counts this week. Again, fishing for halibut was very good with reports from North of Santa Barbara, Pt. Mugu, Central Orange county and San Clemente. Most fish were taken on the Lucky Craft lures and fresh dead grunion fished on the carolina rig.
Some big spotfin croaker were caught in Central Orange County also. We're glad to see these fish as last year at this time the bite was wide open. Hopefully, they are here to stay and we'll get a good shot at them. This week's spotfin was caught on the carolina rig with sand crabs--which was also a favorite for them last year.
The big news has been the abundance of corbina. Billions of sand crabs are now at the surface and the corbina are coming in droves to rush up the beach and pluck the crabs from their beds.
My favorite tide to fish corbina is a low coming to a high. This is when the fish catch waves and rush up the beach to eat crabs. Some of the biggest corbina I've caught have been in 5 or 6 inches of water. It's good to fish them close to shore using a short 12-20 inch leader of 4 or 6lb fluorocarbon on the carolina rig. I like to use a #6 split shot hook as it hides well in the bait and is very sharp--which means more fish and less lost strikes.
I really can't stress enough how important it is to use a thin very sharp hook in the surf. Because you're not over the fish, like in a boat, you don't always feel the bite as the fish attacks. With a very sharp hook you have a better chance to hook the fish and make the hook stick as you pull it though the surf.
Bait wise, the sand crab has worked the best and is the bait of choice for corbina. Don't get me wrong, last August the corbina must have been sick of the crab as the mussel for a few weeks was the better bait. But right now, sand crabs are what they are feeding on.
I've been using medium crabs, about the size of your thumb nail, and my bigger fish have preferred these. But the vast majority of corbina this week were caught on smaller crabs about the size of your pinkie nail. I've been placing two back to front on my hook and have had a lot of success with the smaller bait.
This weekend and week coming up once again have some great tides that mirror those of last week. We are not expecting a big change in the size of the surf and the warm weather coming up should help make fishing great again this week.
To get a few more details take a listen to my audio fish report if you haven't already. You'll find it at: www.fishthesurf.com
Also, take a look at my All-In-One Surf Tackle Kit which includes my book and everything you'll need to catch fish at the beach.