Sunday, December 21, 2008

This week started with a washout of epic proportion. Not only was it freezing but the kelp, trash and mud that flowed downstream to the beach was unbelievable. I think most fish found a hiding place and hunkered down.

Put some bait together with clams, sidewinder crabs and a bit of gulp and gave it a shot on Saturday afternoon during the barely high-high tide. The conditions were calm and flat glassy with a small swell. Even the areas that once offered the cleanest water were murky and loaded with floating debris.

On one of my early casts I hooked into this nice barred perch using a combo of clam and sidewinder crab.

It was a long time between bites but I did have a chance to enjoy the sunset.

Just after dark the wind began to pick up pushing cold air offshore. On one of Ken’s last casts he hooked into this nice corbina using the 3inch Gulp! Camo sand worm. The Carolina rig with a 18” leader of fluorocarbon and a 3/8oz slider did the trick. After a nice fight, it was off the hook and freedom.

Got back to the car just in the nick of time to scrape off the ice and head home for a warm cocktail.

This week looks like a complete washout. Although we have some good tides coming up you'll have to find some days with light winds and small surf to out smart the fish in hiding! I'm looking forward to some time off over the holidays and a road trip that will take me fishing in the warm Pacific.

Next report will be of some colorful fish, I hope. Until then I sure hope everyone has a great holiday and even better New Year!

Home of the All-in-One Surf Tackle Kit

Sunday, December 14, 2008

This week was busy so I only had a few minutes on Wednesday to collect bait. With a little luck I found a hot bed of sidewinder crabs. Next, with the advice of a homeless guy, I was pointed in the right direction to collect a few clams too. Hey, those guys that live under the overpass keep a sharp eye on the beach and can be a great help when looking for bait!

Left before sunrise for the beach Friday in hopes of catching an astronomical seven-foot tide and a few bites. Made it to the beach and was greeted by flat calm seas, no surf and a clear high tide. Everything looked perfect. Truly, the calm before the storm.

As a few raindrops pelted me I struggled to get bites. The lack of waves and the super high tide did everything it could to prevent any current. I first tried the clam for bait and after a few casts caught a nice opal eye near the rocks. My stomach was rumbling as it reminded me of Anderson’s pea soup!

After changing bait to sidewinders I hooked into a nice perch. As I got it near shore I could see it was the biggest walleye I’ve ever hooked—probably 14 inches—but not this time--bing, out pops the hook. On the next cast I hooked into this guy and after a short battle she came to shore—crab and all.

Caught just a few more perch but nothing else was biting. Probably because the tide swings were so great they couldn’t find their home.

Woke up Saturday to do “church” work by moving the clams out of the Talbert Outlet and into a protected area inside the marsh. Here they can reproduce and pour baby clams out the inlet and thus onto the sand in both directions up and down the beach.

A BIG thank you goes out to the 14 volunteers who helped us round up and move 1,396 Pacific Littleneck and Razor Clams into the estuary. Also, thank you to the Huntington Beach Wetland Conservancy for their guidance and cooperation on this project. These folks have done all of us surf fishermen a big service by doing this. The restored marsh that spans from the Santa Ana River to Beach Blvd. will be home to millions of fish and the soon-to-be dredged inlet will be their way to and from the ocean. Once the clams are in place a few days we'll be able to place anchor rocks near them to insure their survival. Here's one of the beds where clams were planted.

The estuary which will be flooded some time early next year is roughly 3 miles long and 1/4th mile wide. When doing sampling to determine where the clams would go we came across loads of ghost shrimp, crabs and a sand worm over two feet long! With so much bait and such a huge area of water there’s no doubt the Orange County coast is in store for some epic surf fishing!
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Saturday, December 6, 2008

This week started off and ended with clear warm skies. Small surf, that made surf fishing look promising on Monday, was over by late in the week as a big Southwest swell pounded the shore.

I took some time to collect some sidewinders knowing that this time of year they work great for the spawning perch.

I also like to use mussel now and rig it two ways. The first is by doing what everyone has done forever—clumping a wad on the hook and sending it out to sea. The other way is by finding the bigger mussel and using the lip only. I like to thread the lip up the hook just as I would do with a worm. This seems to give the bait a more natural presentation because it moves across the bottom like a worm rather than just spinning through the surf. I’ve had some good luck with it and have even caught a few halibut using that technique.

I switched off between baits, mussel, clams and sidewinder and hooked into a few nice perch. Although it was a tough week for surf fishing I was glad to have a few to pull on.

I even had some luck with one of the biggest walleye I’ve ever caught. You know it’s big for a walleye when you can lip it for the pic.

The tidal movement this week had a lot to be desired. Luckily, next week has some great tides—astronomical in fact—so that should lead to some great fishing—unless the surf’s ten foot!!!

Volunteers Needed!!
Talbert Relocation Project

Here's some great news
The State Parks have granted our volunteers free parking for the day. You just need to show a copy of the event flyer at the Magnolia/PCH entrance and you’ll save the $10.00 parking fee. The renovation of three miles of estuary along PCH from Beach Blvd. to the Santa Ana River will be completed in the spring and is guaranteed to make the Bolsa Chica to Santa Ana River corridor the best surf fishing in the State. Thank you everyone for your help!!

You can check out the flyer at our website:

Home of the All-in-One Surf Tackle Kit