Saturday, October 4, 2008

Perch, Yellowfin and Spotfin Croaker in the OC

Wild, wacky and weird was the weather at the beach this week. We started out the week with south wind, a modest south swell and rain. Then the sun broke out and the wind turned howling offshore—and that was just the first hour!

I took some time at the midmorning high tide to gather sand crabs and was happy to see they were still around. Later that day at low tide, I stopped by my favorite clam spot and picked up some beautiful little neck clams for bait.

This week’s surf fishing took up exactly where last week left off—with fish biting almost everywhere in Orange County. I started fishing a spot where rocks meet sand and found a nice eddy current that was rapping around the rocks and heading out to sea. With crabs at first for bait, the bite was fantastic on perch….both barred and walleye…

Fantastic on crabs for big yellowfin croaker too…

But crabs weren’t the only bait in my arsenal so it was time to slap on the clam and take a stab at floating a bait down the current. I cast out and caught the current just right. My Carolina rig floated to the bottom and then began to make it out into the current. There wasn’t a nibble or bite here--just a pull of the line and I knew I was on!

Fought this spotfin from one side of the rocks all the way around to the other side and then back again. After twenty minutes I knew there was no way I would be able to bring it up on the rocks so I carefully made my way back down the rocks to the safe sand of the shore. After another five minutes of fight, the fish swam away from the rocks and into the open water. I knew now that I had a chance. It wasn’t long and she was on the shore.

I was lucky my new friend “John” was there to take my picture. I asked him to take a shot of me and he gladly agreed. He stuck his rod into the sand and began to take my pic when his rod went bendo. He was now hooked up too, and once he finished taking my picture he reeled in a nice 13” perch—a great reward for being such a good guy!

Caught and released these guys to fight another day. There’s no doubt this day was clamtastic!

With such good fishing this week I expected Friday and the weekend to be great. Unfortunately, nature had a different plan that included huge surf and a coming front. Well, I guess I’ll have to wait until next week—but that’s ok the fish need a rest!

This upcoming week may be a challange depending on how big the surf is. One change for sure will be the drop in water temp. Yesterday the water was 60degrees--well down over the last week. This may turn off some corbina but should make the perch and croaker hungrier than ever as they now will load up with food for winter.

Hope to see you down there soon and please keep sending in your reports and pics--everyone wants to see them!

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