Saturday, January 31, 2009

I can’t remember even once when the wind blew so hard offshore. You could have put a perch on string and flown it like a kite. That’s a thought…. Kite fishing in the surf. How about having a kite take your Lucky Craft a mile offshore and drop it off. Talking about a long retrieve!

The hard part about fishing in the wind is keeping your line tight to your bait. It’s impossible to feel bites and set the hook when the wind is putting a bow in your line the size of the national deficit! At times the gusts were so strong they almost knocked me into the water and bent the end of my rod just like a bite.

I went down earlier in the week and collected some bait at one of my favorite spots. There were plenty of clams, mussels and sidewinder crabs ready for the taking. I did come across a couple of fellas using huge weighted treble hooks trying to snag fish. I thought this was probably against the law but no way was I going to say anything as I didn’t want to become their next “catch.”

On Thursday, eventhough the surf was very small I did find an area of moving water and went to work. My first few casts with mussel and later with clams yielded me only one small perch. Many times when the small perch are attacking my bait I’ll change to the sidewinder. Sidewinders weed out the small fish as only the big slabs seem able to crush their shell.

On my first cast with the crab I felt the familiar crunch, crunch, crunch. After a short fight a nice perch.

Over the next 30 minutes a couple more perch took the bait. They were a bit bigger and reminded me why I love to fish the beach so much.

Today there were no corbina or spotfin to be had but it was great to get out even if I was pelted by wind and sand. I felt lucky to even catch one fish as conditions were poor and fishing usually follows suit.

Before leaving for home I noticed a great many tiny sea birds bunched up in a group on the beach (they‘ve been cartoonized). Once again I was reminded of the great beauty and the peacefulness on the beach just steps from the craziness of the city.

This upcoming week has some below average tides with low tide coming in the middle of the day. Toward the end of the week we begin to see some huge astronomical tides that bode well for fishing and bait catching. The weather early in the week promises to be beautiful with rain possible by the weekend. We still have very little surf to speak of so look for areas with moving off colored water and this is where you'll have your best chance.

Home of the All-in-One Surf Tackle Kit

Friday, January 16, 2009

Work was busy this week and I had to devote some time to getting ready for a Colonet cod trip--But I did managed to squeeze in a few hours on Wed and Thurs for some surf fishing. The water was flat calm with a small southwest swell.

On Tuesday I went down and collected some bait. There were plenty of sidewinder crabs and a few clams and mussel to be had. I was planning on fishing from the rocks so I picked up my 9’ rod and matched it with a spinner filled with 6lb stren red. My Carolina rig had a very light 1/3rd ounce egg sinker so I hopefully wouldn’t get stuck too many times in the rocks!

On my first few casts I had some great luck with nice slab perch using a clam/mussel combo.

After a few more casts a nice walleye.

The tide and current were just right and created a river of cloudy sand just off the rocks. I’ve always had good luck using the sidewinder for perch. Small fish don’t like the crab (uh, might be the claws!) so I’ve always caught my biggest fish on them. Today was no exception. I cast into the up coast current and my bait went bouncing along. Suddenly my line went tight, not a nibble or hard pull, but a solid connection. I reeled down and I was on. After several tense minutes we rounded the rocks and headed for shore. A nice spotfin with bright spawning colors slide ashore. She was 24” and ready to be released back to the spawning grounds.

Day two. I returned on Thursday to some of the same conditions with the exception of a bit larger surf. In no time I was hooked up with a few perch. I loved it how two guys came out to the area that I was fishing and stood right next to me. After bumping elbows a few times I moved down a couple of rocks.

Then it happened again.

Another, yet smaller spotfin. Held by my friend Huan, who’s new to fishing and was stoked beyond belief—Thanks Huan for the help!

Just another great week of fishing in the OC. Even though, it gets a bit close sometimes!

The weather report for this weekend looks great with the chance of some rain later next week. Our only "fly in the ointment" would be the huge swell that's coming this way and expected to get here on Saturday through Monday. Because it's coming from the Southwest there will be almost no protection from the waves. This may make fishing a bit problematic. In cases like this I try to find a breakwater/jetty areas where I can fish on the downward side, opposite the waves. I look for an eddy circulation with some churned cloudy water. This seems to be the place fish hide in big surf.

Have a great week out there fishing and keep sending in reports and pics--we love to see them!

Home of the All-in-One Surf Tackle Kit

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Once the craziness of the Holidays was over it was time to jump on a plane and search for some relaxing surf fishing in Hawaii. We landed on the island and it was a pleasure to have both warm sun and water. All along the Kauai coast, especially on the north part of the island near Princeville, we found great structure for fishing both the rocks and surf.

The week didn’t produce any large fish—at least none that I actually landed—but it did produce variety and a little excitement fishing somewhere new. The surf was 3-6’ most every day and made fishing the beach a challenge.

I fished mostly using the Carolina rig on an 8.5’ spinning rod with 6lb red Stren line. When fishing near the rocks I tried to use the lightest egg sinker possible and had many less snags. My only big sang was with a floating coconut—we fought it out for a while before it gave up and sent my sinker into my forehead!

I learned from last time that cut raw shrimp made a good bait in Kauai so I loaded up with it and some Gulp! Baits (camo sandworm, penny shrimp and blood sandworm). I made my way down to several fishing holes and had some luck.

Each time I fish here I learn a bit more. Most of the tackle shops (which are in variety stores here) are still working with older equipment and some outdated techniques. Even though you sometimes think you may know more about fishing you always seem to be reminded that the Hawaiian locals are the true wizards of the sea.

Well, now that I'm back home it's time to turn my sights on this week's surf fishing. We have some astronomical tides this week that will pull over 7' of tide on and off the beach. This always presents both opportunity and challange. I like to fish these tides near peak high and peak low tide. The inbetween hours can have substantial current and even make it hard for fish to swim and eat!
This week's tides are also a good time to get down at low tide and look for some bait. You'll find the rocks exposed for collecting mussel and clams and low tide also gives you a chance to find the last beds of sand crabs along with a chance to turn over rocks to find sidewinder crabs.

Have a great time out there and enjoy the nice weather while it lasts!!

Home of the All-in-One Surf Tackle Kit