Thursday, August 14, 2008

Cool breeze, clear water and warm seas greeted me as I made my way down to the beach today.

Surf fishing has been good for the last two weeks with most reports I've received from anglers fishing exclusively for halibut.

Good catches of corbina, perch and even a legal white sea bass have been reported from Santa Barbara to San Diego this past week.

Both halibut and perch have provided some great catches for the entire summer. Lately, I've been out of town doing some surf fishing in the Sierras--the same gear for the surf with a bit different bait!

This week, over the last couple of days, I've been fishing for perch in the evening with some great luck. The water conditions have been clean with just a bit of kelp, small surf and water temps over 70degrees. The fish have been almost everywhere with the biggest perch being caught where rocks meet sand. Areas near jetties or harbor entrances have provided some of the biggest fish.

When I'm fishing in these areas I rig up using the carolina rig with a 6lb fluorocarbon leader and a very light (1/4th ounce) sliding sinker. Most anglers will cast away from the rocks, in fear that they will get snagged, but the fact is the biggest perch are in the rocks themselves!

I Cast just along the rocks and slowly pull your bait back into the rocks. I keep my line tight, as loose line is what gets snagged. When the big fish bite they don't nibble like a typical perch but rather inhale the bait and swim back (maybe just inches) into the rocks. When I feel the line tighten I reel down, set the hook and fight the fish out of their hole.

All the surf fish I catch are released back into the sea to grow and fight again another day.

Corbina reports have been few and far between--probably because so many people have been fishing for halibut. But I promise this weekend and next week to fish them hard and let them know I'm still around.

The reports I have had for corbina have produced some nice fish from 12" -25". Most fish have been caught on soft sand crabs and a few reported on ghost shrimp. The entire Huntington Beach and Newport areas have been good.

This time of year has always been a good time for alternative baits like ghost shrimp and mussel. Corbina seem to tire of eating sand crabs near the end of the summer and turn to other baits. Also, you must admit it's harder to get a bite this time of year on the crab when your hooked bait is competing with millions, no make that billions, of unhooked crabs!

Gathering sand crabs for bait has been easy for the past several months. This time of summer, look for large beds of crabs at the surface during high tide. You'll be able to collect as many as you need in just a few minutes after finding their beds. Keep them fresh by putting a piece of kelp on top of them--and if you plan to take them home to keep overnight to fish the morning, keep them in an ice chest where they can stay cool. Crabs like the temp to be about 60degrees, so don't get them too cold or hot.

It won't be long, maybe about four more weeks before they begin to disappear for the winter. Usually by Oct. 1st they're gone. So make plans this weekend to get down there and catch some bait.

This week, weekend and next week looks to offer some good surf fishing. We have a small building south swell which will bring some even warmer water into San Diego, Orange and Los Angeles counties. Good morning low to high tides will provide your best chances for corbina with a nice evening tide for collecting crabs and catching perch.

So here we are coming up on the end of yet another great surf fishing summer--Have you gotten down to the beach yet--you better go soon because now is the time!

All in one surf tackle kit

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