Sunday, April 26, 2009

Took some time earlier in the week looking for bait. With a decent bite last week on the sidewinder I thought it was a good bet to try again.

The wind was strong each evening with relative calm in the morning.

Although the bite was a long way from wide open, a few nice perch did bite.

This guys eyes were bigger than his mouth—as you can see from the crab legs hanging out!!

The sunset evenings gave us some great colors and hope that next week will see warm days (but probably not) and an end to this wind that keeps stirring up the cloudy cold water. I know summers not far away on the calendar so I’ll keep my hopes up that better conditions are just around the corner!!

This upcoming week will give us some good low tides in the morning for catching bait and fishing the inshore holes for halibut and corbina. The evening high tides may make catching sand crabs a priority and fishing for perch and spotfin just after the peak of high tide. Although there is no claim of warm weather we do expect the winds to finally calm down and begin to blow from the south.

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

As the wind whipped the coast this week all I wanted to do was fish. On Friday, I had a chance to go down to one of my favorite bait spots and pick up some fresh ones for the surf. After searching for a while with my ghost shrimp pump (and having very little luck) I ran into a fellow SC’r who took me to the Promised Land.

With Ray’s help and direction he managed to pull a cornucopia of baits from the sand. We caught just enough ghost shrimp, sandworms and innkeeper worms to make up the first half of our bait. Now it was on to catching a few sidewinder crabs and a handful of sand crabs. Thanks Ray for your help. It just shows how great the attitude is with everyone I’ve met from SC.

After Ray shot off to family obligations I went back to work and waited out the last hours before I could go surf fishing. When I arrived at the beach around 6pm it was a bit windy, as with days before, but somewhat warmer. I went out to a good spot where rocks meet sand and looked to catch some fish.

I was amped to use the ghost shrimp and on my first cast I wasn’t disappointed when I felt the tap, tap, tap and run of a nice fish. Unfortunately, I wasn’t fishing for pinback sharks so it was on with another shrimp and out we go. Instant hook up—another pinback. At times like these I’ve learned that harder baits will many times reduce the number of sharks or small fish. So I switched to the sidewinder.

It wasn’t long and I was on.

Next cast same result.

And with each cast until dark a bite, a fish or a farm. The fish are back!!

The day ended, and as the sun set over Palos Verdes I couldn’t help but think what the next few days and weeks would bring in the surf. With a return to warm days and the promise of a sizeable south swell next week it shouldn’t be long before the fruits of summer have arrived!!

It looks like we may have some great weather over the next week with very little wind and a small south swell. The tides next week will also be the best of the month for both fishing and catching bait. Some days are so good, with a high tide in the morning and evening, you could fish twice per day!!

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Saturday, April 4, 2009

Over the last month surf fishing’s been tough for me. I’ve fished mostly central Orange County and found a boatload of bad conditions. Winds from the West and dismal looking water have kept fishing slow along the coast. With some exceptions of nice catches, fishing has been slow and bites hard to come by down here.

Along comes this week, and even though we did have some weather in the middle of the week, the bite dramatically improved by week’s end. Although none of my fish were very big the bite on palm sized walleye and barred perch went from almost non-existent to nearly wide-open.

I’ve been fishing the grub as I have moved away from live baits while the conditions work on improving. I don’t know about you guys, but I find that when swells have beaten down the beach and cloudy water is everywhere you need to cover a larger area. Fish seem to school up in conditions like this and are not always at the stock places you had found them in the past.

I like to get setup using the Carolina rig with (a heavier) 1oz sliding sinker to slow down the presentation in the presence of waves and long-shore current. Also, I will use a short 18-inch or so leader to keep my grub on the bottom. Most of the fish I found this week were very close in—60 feet from shore or less. My best luck seemed to come when I would cast “up stream” of the current, keep line tension tight to my sinker, and let my line coast downhill in the current.

The fish seemed extremely hungry and just inhaled the bait. This was a big change from a week ago where they were just picking at the bait. With any luck, the conditions should progressively get better this week after the coming storm. The welcome sign of sand crabs is finally here and fishing over the next few weeks should no doubt improve. Another great sign was the huge number of birds working the Huntington Flats area diving on bait right under boiling fish (which I assumed were barracuda or mackerel).

This week and into next weekend we have some great tides. We are just seeing the first sand crabs and they will be here in numbers once the water temp comes up from 58 to 60 degrees. Today seemed to have a southwest swell which will help push warmer and cleaner water up the coast. I predict we we be well into corbina and sand crab season in less than a month!!

Here's one last look at the sunset. Hope to see you at the beach....

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