Sunday, November 4, 2012

Clams, mussel and ghost shrimp...

 Beautiful conditions this week forced me to get down to the beach to find some bait.  Still quite a few sand crabs at the beach but most fish have been looking for ghost shrimp, clams and mussel for lunch.  I went down to my favorite collection spot and found some great shrimp and just enough clams and mussel to hit the beach.

Along with a crazy looking albino ghost shrimp I also found a dead baby striped bass.  Last year was one of the best years ever for striped bass caught from Malibu to Newport Beach.  May this is their offspring--I sure hope so!

Found beautiful conditions at the beach with a nice morning high tide and a moderate swell.  Cast out my first shrimp and it wasn't long before a nice perch clamped on.

Minutes later a nice walleye made it in.  Quite a few bites from walleye and finally a hook stays put.

Just a few baits left and a nice perch jumps on the line for a good fight.

Over the next week you'll find some changing weather with a storm and some wind coming this way.  Very little tidal change will keep fishing this week a bit slow.  The following week we are back into some warm, calm weather and great tides.  Look for a big rebound in surf fishing the week of Nov. 12-18.

Check out this beautiful perch caught by Nathan down at Bolsa Chica State Beach.

And how about this Holloween lobster caught near boston--I might be too scared to eat this one...

Have a great week out there and catch some fish!

Home of the All-in-One Surf Tackle Kit

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Seminar and this week's surf fish report

Thank you again to all the anglers and Ken and Bill who helped with last weekend’s surf fishing seminar at Bolsa Chica.

 This week was a busy one but I did find time to go down to my favorite bay and suck up some ghost shrimp and sidewinder crabs.

Made my way down to the beach and found beautiful conditions with warm water and medium sized waves. It was a great surprise to see the long-shore current was still moving from south to north because that means that warm, clear water is still moving into our local beaches. I could see water churning in the trough in front of me and I couldn’t wait to cast out a fresh bait.
Knowing that the current was going to pull my bait up the beach, I cast to my right and began to watch my line as it came tight, straight in front of me. For a second, I thought I was snagged but it was just the edge of the trough followed by a hard pull and I’m onto several medium sized barred perch.
I continued to work the trough. It was only about 20 feet off shore and was easy to cast , then let your bait drop into the surf fish super highway. Took a look down the beach toward my buddy and he was on. A little corbina slid up on the beach.
After a couple of smooth hound sharks I was absolutely slammed by this yellowfin croaker who gave a great fight. Yellowfin and spotfin are solid fish and when you hook into one you know it—it’s solid!
Bait was getting low but the conditions were still great. On my last few baits I hooked into three large walleye perch. Three of these guys would have made quite a meal!
It really looks like we are going to continue to have some great surf fishing for corbina, perch and croaker. The water is still quite warm and sand crabs are very abundant. The sand crab season is coming to an end so now is a good time to begin to switch over to other baits like worms, ghost shrimp, mussel, etc.-but with that said, always throw a sand crab on now and then to keep those fish honest!

This week has some great tides for both bait catching and fishing. Last week we saw perch, corbina, croaker, sharks and a couple of halibut caught. They are all out there and waiting for you! As I mentioned before, it does look like surf fishing is going to remain good because of the flow of warm, clear water from the south. Right now there is a hurricane working it’s way up Baja and another one on it’s tail (about 10 days out) just off shore from Acapulco. Both these storms and any behind them will continue to make our fishing amazing right into November.

Good luck out there and I always appreciate a fish report (and especially one with pictures) so we can let everyone see what you are catching…

Tight lines and good surf fishing,

Home of the All-in-One Surf Tackle Kit

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Warm Weather Means it's Time for the Beach!

The weather has been so hot this last week all I could think about was getting down to the beach to catch some fish.  Went down early and sucked up a handful of ghost shrimp.

Headed down to the beach first to try for a croaker of some kind while the tide was still medium low.  Set up with the carolina rig with a 6lb flourocarbon leader and a fresh ghost shrimp.  Although I still see a giant quantity of sand crabs I've been getting less and less hits each day on them as most fish are sick of gorging on the spring favorite.

After a couple of bites and no fish one finally hangs on.  Up the beach slides this nice spotfin.

After a few more casts and now bites I decided that it was time to make my way down to the rocks because the tide had finally filled in.   Any rock structure including jetties and harbor entrance can be good on a rising tide.  As the water fills in it also washes bait off the rocks and fish come in close to feed.

Climbed out on the rocks and had a blast with several of these:

Seems like big perch have been here all year--not just seasonally pregnant--but biting big fish for sometime now!

Check out Jack's spotfin for earlier this week...
The upcoming week has some great conditions.  A dark moon will make fishing during the day productive and the water temp continues to climb.  A tropical depression off Cabo will bring even more swell and warm water to the area so look for corbina fishing to turn red hot in the next week or two.

Our next on-the-beach seminar will be September 15 at Bolsa Chica.  During the clinic we will concentrate on how to rig and hook live baits like ghost shrimp, sand crabs, worms and more.  Be sure to sign up as soon as the event comes open (around Sept 1st) because I guarantee you, fishing is going to be epic!


Home of the All-in-One Surf Tackle Kit

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Surf Fishing Seminar and Report...

 Thank you to everyone who came out for the Bolsa Chica seminar. Once again the State did a great job of providing the facility and we all had a great time catching fish. Our next on the beach seminar will be at South Carlsbad State Beach on both Friday July 20th and Saturday July 21st. Registration will open around July 7th. Navigate to our site at and click on “Seminars” for more information.
Beautiful Seminar Spotfin

This was one of the best catching clinics I have seen with a number of corbina, spotfin and dozens of perch.

Great shovelnose Jackie!
 This week will provide a challenge for surf fisherman with the 4th of July being one of the busiest days at the beach. But the evening tides should provide great fishing around the holiday and into the weekend.
Spawning colors on a small shovelnose guitar fish
Sand crabs, ghost shrimp and worms have all been working well lately. Rig them on the Carolina rig with a short leader of about 12-18” of 6lb fluorocarbon leader. All surf fish are feeding on the bottom now, as they look for sand crabs, so you will need to have a heavy enough sinker (1/2 or 3/4.oz) and a short enough leader to stay near the bottom.
The only discouraging sign from the surf has been the precipitous drop in water temperature. Three weeks ago the water was a warm 68 degrees. Today, it clocked in at a chilly 58 degrees at the Huntington Beach pier.
Winds that have been blowing out of the west (they usually blow from the southwest this time of year) have churned up cold water and sent the long-shore current down the coast to the south rather than up the coast (as we would usually find in the summer) to the north. So instead of a steady stream of warm water filling in up the coast, cold winter-like water has filled in instead.
13 year old Chase with a huge corbina
(Thanks Dad for the photo!)
The good news is that the fish are still there but as the water cools so does their metabolism and in turn their need to feed. All we can do now is be patient and wait for the current to turn. In the meantime, I’m still going to hit it hard—because catching one trophy fish instead of two is always ok in my book!

Home of the all-in-one Surf Tackle Kit

Sunday, June 3, 2012

It was so nice to get back home from my trip and do some long awaited fishing. First, I decided to go down to the beach in the evening and collect sand crabs for bait. The number of crabs out now is just phenomenal. In just a few minutes I made bait and it was time to do a bit of fishing.
From my first bait to my last, a bite every time. The surf was full of perch, sharks, yellowfin croaker and a lonely corbina.

After leaving the beach I put my sand crabs in a cool dry place and got my equipment ready for the morning. I know there would be a medium-sized high tide in the morning so I wanted to get to the beach early to catch the upcoming tide as it filled in over the crab beds.

Took a few steps onto the beach and was greeted by my friend Bill who was well into a fish and about up to his neck in surf as he tried to land her. After a good 10 minute fight she slid up onto the beach. Nice job Bill !!!

Nice Job Bill...

My skin was crawling as I tried to pin on a bait and cast it out. Once my bait hit the water it began to follow the current and as my line straightened out it went tight and with a hard pull I was on. After a good fight a nice spotfin came ashore…
Within a few moments my buddy Ken went bendo and he too was on and fighting up and down the beach. After wrestling with a bit of kelp he brought this sargo to shore. She weighed around 3lbs and was one of the biggest I’d ever seen in the surf. Way to go Ken…
Ken's Sargo
It was back to concentrating on fishing now and as my line went tight again in the current I felt a pull, a second pull then off went the freight train again. Another spotfin makes it to shore. Ken does a good job here as my model….

The morning seemed to go like that with fish being caught all down the beach. On my way back to the car I ran into another friend. Joyce had just landed her first and surely biggest, spotfin ever. Good job Joyce !!

Great fish Joyce...
 Wow, it’s really good down there now. Imagine this; In the last two days we have caught: Barred surfperch, walleye perch, corbina, spotfin croaker, sting rays, yellowfin croaker, sargo and leopard sharks. That’s what I call going off!

I have just opened up the registration for the June 16th Bolsa Chica Surf Fishing Clinic.  Sign up fast as it will fill quickly.

Next week offers some great morning and afternoon bites and bait making tides.  My advice:  Go every day---it's going to be great!

Home of the All-in-One Surf Tackle Kit

Monday, April 23, 2012

April ends a nice month of surf fishing...

Finally the weather calmed down and the surf diminshed long enough to collect some bait and get down to the beach.

There has been some great bait to collect, mostly at low tide, with the exception of sand crabs that always seem easier to catch during a high tide. My box was full of clams, ghost shrimp, sidewinder and sand crabs. My hopes were high...

The day before going to the beach I collected bait and threw out a big ghost shrimp. In no time I felt a ripping bite. Fought this fish for a few minutes until I realized it was the biggest smelt I'd ever seen. This guy was so big I couldn't even stretch my arm out far enough to get the entire fish in the picture!

The next morning I made my way down to the beach and was surprised by how many 10-12" perch were waiting to bite.

It was time to head back to work but I had time to let one last fat shrimp hit the water. After a huge bite and rush of line this nice 20" corbina rolled up onto the sand.

Conditions will go down hill a bit this week as we prepare for another spring storm. Being a cut off low, this one will be a bit hard to predict but as long as we don't have too much swell and wind we should be ok. Weather reports call for a warming over the weekend--which is just in time to go catch them again!

Check out this beautiful stripped seaperch caught in Guadalupe by Paul Marshall. You don't see one of these every day. Thanks Paul!

A reminder about parking passes at the California State Parks: On May 1, 2012 the parking pass will go up from $125.00 per year to $195.00. So if you need a pass now is the time to get it before the annual rate goes up.

Also, I have finalized many of my on-the-beach seminars and will have all the details up on my site in a few days. You can find here under the "SEMINAR" tab:

If you have not already checked them out, take a look at our MLPA pages. I am working on them and adding information every day. You'll find maps on where to fish and not to fish, an explanation of what caused the closures (and it wasn't overfishing by you) and a question and answer with the CA Department of Fish and Game regarding the rules and implementation.

See you after the storm with a fish report that is sure to rock your world!


Home of the All-in-One Surf Tackle Kit

Friday, January 27, 2012

Rain gave way to sunshine this week so it was time to go down to the beach and make some bait. The surf has been up lately but today it has begun to subside and provided for some good conditions.

Went down to my favorite mud hole and made some bait. Ghost shrimp and sidewinder crabs were plentiful. Also found this cool sea slug. Didn't forget that I also had a pocket full of grubs knowing how vicious perch can be this time of year for the plastic. It was extremely cold and I had to wear gloves. Turns out that they worked out well with the sidewinders—pinch away boys!!

Started out with ghost shrimp and immediately hooked into a couple nice walleye perch…

Switched to the sidewinder and it wasn’t long until a couple palm sized and then larger perch crushed the bait.

Hooked on my last large shrimp and threw it out into the current. Bammmm...Another big perch.

This weekend we'll see the swell diminish and strong Santa Ana wind conditions. Even though we don’t have a great pattern of tides this upcoming week there should still be some good fishing--'cause fish get hungry and when the surf is up it’s hard to eat!

I’ve been working on my MLPA (Marine Life Protection Act) pages for They should be up and completed in a couple of weeks. You will find an explanation of this fiasco and pages including question and answers from the DFG and a complete overview of the closures including where you can and can not fish. You can visit the page by clicking here

Our store now offers the official laminated MLPA closure maps. There are three maps in all and you can check them out in our store. Hope you have a great weekend out there and catch a bunch of fish!