Thursday, September 4, 2008

Another great week at the beach with warm clear water, early morning fog and a medium south swell.

Well this week didn't disappoint the surf fisherman one bit! Although there were considerable crowds through Monday, last weekend and this entire week served up some great fishing.

As was expected a modest south swell reached the San Diego, Orange and Los Angeles County beaches on Sunday and still should be around for a few more days. Two to Four foot waves have been reshaping the beach and pushing up more clear warm water from the south. Over the next few weeks we should have a great last chance at catching the end-of-summer corbina--that's because with this south swell, and the warm water it brings, the fish don't know that summers almost over!

As I mentioned last post, I felt that the corbina bite had slowed on the sand crab so it was time to move on to some "old school" baits to see if we could get back on the bite. I decided to go down to one of my favorite clam spots and collect some cockles for fishing.

Cockle clams are easy to find in bays and harbors. Look for areas that have small rocks (maybe about the size of a coffee can) and turn them over. These clams live by the millions under these rocks and range in size from 2-6inches across. I like to put them in a bucket overnight with wet burlap over them. In the morning they will be a bit open and much easier to schuck. I take a few minutes, before I go down to the beach, and open them and then place them in a zip lock bag. Then once I'm at the beach I can just reach into the bag, pull out their meat and put it on the hook. The last thing I want to do is be pushing a knife through a small slit in their shell in the dark!! (uh, did anyone see where my finger went?)

Went down to the surf each morning just as the sun was coming up and left each day around 9:30 or 10am. I used a combination of clam and ghost shrimp or just clam and had bites and fish on almost every cast.

Today's corbina were plentiful but smaller than the past few months with most in the 14-17" range. One corbina was even caught on the 1&1/2" curly tail grub that really lets you know fall's on the way.

Fished using the carolina rig (3/4th oz egg sinker, clear bead, black #12 swivel, 24" fluorocarbon leader and a mustad bait holder hook (the ones with the barbs on the shank). Had a great bite on perch, corbina and spotfin. And can't forget to mention the shovelnose sharks that fight like the halibut you've dreamed about but look like your mother in law!!

This upcoming week and weekend have some average tides that will improve throughout the week. Once this south swell calms down there will be some great corbina and perch holes and the fish will move in in earnest. Now's a great time to get down there and give the sand crab one last shot before the summer's over and they're gone. Just up the beach from me a buddy caught a nice spotfin on a hard crab--and even though I know that I can catch them on the clam and shrimp I've just got to take one more shot using the crab before they go by by for winter.

With so many great baits available and working I sure hope to see you down there. It's really been a great summer of surf fishing to remember!
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