Saturday, December 10, 2011

Catching big perch with shore crabs...

Beautiful weather this week meant it was a great time to go down to the rocks and collect some bait. Had no problem putting together a few sidewinder crabs and littleneck clams. Then it was down to the beach to look for some early winter perch.

Spawn time has begun and now that the water had cooled I knew it was a great time to use the sidewinder as bait.

My first few casts brought a number of nice perch…

Followed by a bigger one
And Biggest…

What an incredible bite. Three over 13”, two over 14” and one monster over 15”. I know there is a bigger one out there I just haven’t figured out how to trick him out of his hole and onto my hook-It’s just a matter of time my friend!

This weekend and upcoming week are bringing some great tides. Our only big threat will be from the weather and a coming front. Provided that doesn’t have too much wind with it, fishing should recover quickly.

Here are a few tips for the upcoming weeks: I like to use sidewinder shore crabs and clams this time of year. Grubs dipped in hot sauce also work well all the way through winter. On the open beach, I fish them on the Carolina Rig and use a 3/4th ounce-sliding sinker. But many of the largest perch this time of year will be right down in the rocks. So move down to a lighter slider (about 1/4th oz) and cast your bait very close to where the rocks meet sand.

These big fish are spawners so if you have to eat one do so-otherwise; please put them back as quickly and gently as possible. That way next year they will be even bigger and might be that record fish you have always been waiting for!

If you are looking for more info about how to find, keep and hook sidewinders and other baits be sure to get a copy of my book either in print or now available at Amazon for your Ereader...
Check out our gift cards and tackle here...
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Monday, November 7, 2011

Magdalena Bay Mexico
Last November...

Today we leave for our mission (ok, so it's a fishing, surfing, diving trip and more) from Long Beach to La Paz Mexico. The trip's a bit more than 1200 nm. We will be stopping at several small villages along the way to drop off food, clothes and fishing equipment. The highlight of the trip will be giving a fishing clinic to the village at Man O War Cove (just inside Magdalena Bay). It goes without saying that to teach one to fish is more than just fun it's also a way to feed a family. Locals here have so little equipment, with many fishing and feeding the village with only tin cans and fishing line. We hope to teach them some new techniques and provide them with some great new equipment and baits. Thank you to United Anglers, Sav-On Tackle in Santa Fe Springs (thanks especially to Manager Roger Eckhardt) and for providing all the equipment and a lot of encouragement!

I will be posting pictures of our trip as we make our way down the Baja peninsula on FaceBook so if you have not "friend"ed me yet please do so. I have not figured out how to add text but hopefully the daily pictures will tell the story.

And talking about stories, here's a quick update of this week's surf fishing.

Beautiful conditions met me at the beach earlier last week and I had no problem making ghost shrimp, cams and a few mussel for bait in the bay. I made my way down to the sand and found small surf, glassy conditions and biting fish.

Using the Carolina rig and a very light sliding sinker my first few casts were hammered immediately and it was good to see that there were some nice sized walleye perch biting.

A few casts later a beautiful barred surfperch...

Followed by a couple big yellowfin croaker...

This fall has produced some of the largest yellowfin croaker in years. I don't see that changing much with the exception that it is now time for the spotfin to begin biting. With the cooling water, croaker have begun to key in on clams and mussel. This is something we always see at this time of year as the sand crabs have gone into hibernation and the tiny shore clams have come to the surface to feed and spawn.

Tides for this week and next look great. There is definitely a pattern going on--when the full moon is out fishing is best in the afternoon and evening. When no moon periods are around, like near Thanksgiving, the fishing is incredibly good all day long!

I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving and Veteran's Day--Thank you Vets!!

I'll see you again in December--so until then friend me on FaceBook and good fishing!


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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Thanks to all the folks who came down for the Bolsa Chica State Beach seminar last weekend. We had a great time thanks to Bolsa Bill and the entire state beach staff. Also, thanks again to Big Fish Tackle in Seal Beach who help sponsor the bait for our events.

This week saw some great tides so it was time for me to go down to the bay and catch some bait. Had no problem making 30 beautiful 2-3 inch ghost shrimp. I like to soak them in cold salt water for one or two days before using them as it helps them to firm up and make the even livelier!

I rigged up with the Carolina rig and a very small egg sinker and made a few casts between pumping shrimp. In no time I hooked into this beautiful spotfin.

The next morning I made my way to the beach and was greeted by medium surf and clear water conditions. First few casts a nice barred perch and a big walleye…

Then while reeling in to change bait a big yellowfin croaker crushed my shrimp and after a good fight came to shore…

Just a few baits left and time for a nice fish. Had a soft tug at first then just the freight train pulling away from the station with this hefty corbina.

On a side note took the day off from the beach today and went to the mountains to catch a few small mouth bass before winter sets in. Beautiful sunrise and some nice fish…

This next week has some decent tides but the following week, with its big tide swings and new moon will provide some great fishing opportunities. Think about switching your baits now to ghost shrimp, clams, grubs and worms.
Home of the All-in-One Surf Tackle Kit

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Thanks to everyone who came to last weekend’s surf fishing seminar in Carlsbad. We all had a great time during the two day clinic and caught some nice fish. Our best catches came on three baits: ghost shrimp, sand crabs and lug worms. I pre-fished on Thursday and had a nice bite on perch, yellowfin and one nice corbina.

The seminars followed with some nice fish including perch, corbina, croaker and a few sharks.

This week I had the chance to get down to catch some bait and do a bit of fishing. In the evening I caught fish and bait.

The next morning it was down to Bolsa Chica State Beach to catch a few more.

Over the next few days we do have some relatively slack tides but it looks like fishing will still be good. As we move in to next week, the tides build to provide some great shots at fish over the weekend and remain good all the way through the end of the month.

San Diego has been kicking out big numbers of corbina and spotfin croaker. Orange Co. has provided a steady pick on corbina, perch and croaker and LA Co. has produced some huge perch. All in all, a very good surf fishing summer so far….

Bless all soldiers who keep us free and safe!!

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Saturday, August 6, 2011

It's been a busy July with several seminars, vacations and surf fishing road trips. It was nice to be home for a few days and relax--but that didn't last for long--I had to get back down to the beach.

There is still space in our Carlsbad Seminar on Friday and/or Saturday August 12, 13. Send us an email to reserve your spot: Also, go to our seminar page for more info...

Made bait in the harbor and hit the sand. Had a good bite on a few midsized perch and a couple of croaker.

Although I've been seeing a few corbina in the surf they seem to have been prefering someone else's bait. Still good reports of big spotfin and corbina being caught. Some at Huntington and many in San Diego near T Pines and Carlsbad.

Woke up Friday and made my way back down to the beach with the best bait ever in hopes of catching the big one. But the waves were up and the current swirled with the power of a freight train so I made my way back inside the bay.

Inside the bay, I found a couple yellowfin croaker, one small halibut and a few turbo. Nothing for the record books this week but still some darn good fishing.

Next week looks to offer some good tides both in the morning and evening for fishing and catching bait. The south swell created by the hurricane off Cabo should be behind us and allow the current and waves to calm. Remember, the beach should have some new and interesting changes next week so take time at low tide to check out your favorite beach, find the new holes and troughs, then go back at high tide and fish them.

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Saturday, July 2, 2011

Before I can give my lowly fish report I have to give major props to my fishing buddy Brad for catching the fish of a lifetime!

At 9:05 pm on June 30th he hooked and landed a 40lb Striped Bass at Corona Del Mar (as in the beach next to Newport). Using a 1000 series reel and 6lb test he landed the fish in about 15 minutes. He was fishing with a strip of squid on the Carolina rig.
The fish measured 44” long and 24” wide and was only 16lbs short of the IGFA 6lb class record caught of Massachusetts. Wow, in all the years I’ve been surf fishing I’ve never seen a striper anywhere close to this and to be able to catch a fish this size in the surf is absolutely amazing. Good job Brad!

Update: Brad just sent me this message about the fish:
"Close scrutiny of the stomach contents revealed good information on the forage this beast was pursuing...
This Monster was chowing almost exclusively on CRUSTACEANS!
Several thin shrimp 2" to 3" in length, (not ghost shrimp) but almost everything else was remnants of SIDEWINDERS!
In the sizes that we fish for the BIG PERCH!"

Awesome Dude!!

Ok, Here’s my lame report. Sand crab catching has been amazing around Huntington. There are not only about a billion crabs but many are soft and in the perfect stage for pitching. Went down to the beach in the evening and then back in the morning.

Had some good bites for small perch

Followed by some large yellowfin

Only saw one corbina in the swash—but I don’t care cause I’ll be back down there tomorrow to finish my business!

Have a great 4th !

All-in-One Surf Tackle Kit

Sunday, June 12, 2011

What a blessing it is that the winds from the West have finally stopped and a warm South swell has filled in at the beach to bring the water temperature back from the 50’s into the low 60’s.

Decided to hit the beach in the evening due to some great high tides and fish some of my favorite holes on the open beach. Bolsa Chica is mainly quiet in the late afternoon on a weekend so no time like the present to get down there and catch a few. My first job was to catch crabs. That was to prove no problem with a full net the first pull. This year I have seen more sand crabs in Orange and LA Counties then I’ve seen since the 1960’s—and that has always meant a superb summer of surf fishing.

The bite was on and into my first catch a nice little perch…

Followed by a dozen more in sizes from 8”-12”…

Then came the pinback shark. Always a great sign that all the summer fish have moved in and corbina, spotfin, leopards and everything else is on it’s way…

Finished off the evening with two nice yellowfin croaker…

Decided to take a last shot at peak high tide up at the jetties. Wasn’t surprised to see 15 other guys there giving it a try. No bites but enough entertainment to keep one coming back. First I hear a loud splash and look over to see this boat. AAAH….

Then a posse of police on 4 runners coming from the South followed by a code three lifeguard on the North jetty. The lifeguard rushes to a stop, out jumps the swimmer and into the water and under the bridge. Moments later everything’s good. Seems the boater is a surveyor doing his job. All in a good day of fishing….

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