Friday, February 15, 2013

Winter barred surfperch and a Newport dredge...

A great thing happened this week: The skies parted and the sun came out and shined down brightly on the beach making for some good surf fishing. Although it doesn’t look like the good weather is going to last very long at least the fishing is still good on large barred surfperch.

Went fishing on Sunday and twice during the week. Had a good look at a few spots with one near the rocks and the other on the open beach. This time of year is always a good time to try to concentrate on fishing near rocks and other forms of structure.

Fish find a good place to hide and forage for bait near the rocks. Rocks also keep them protected from the winter elements. Rip currents on the open beach can also be a good place to find large perch in the winter. My best luck this week was fishing along the edges of rip currents.

Many of these rips appear suddenly and then move down the beach and dissipate. It was a job finding them and keeping up with their movement. At one point I realized that each time I hooked a fish in the rip current, by the time I had landed him the current would be gone.

My good fishing buddy Ken came along and had a great bite on perch and a nice 20” halibut too. He caught this 13” barred surfperch on a hand-tied sand crab fly.

A few walleye were biting too on the grubs.

And a bunch of birds pointed out to us right where the fish were.

This week we concentrated on fishing the grub on the Carolina rig along with a few surf flies. All week the weather, swell and tides were great.

A bit later I took a walk down to the area in Newport Beach where they have chosen to dredge out a back estuary to form an island for endangered birds.
I have closely examined the EIR for this project and it doesn’t seem anyone with the slightest marine biological brain was involved. They absolutely destroyed one of the most pristine areas for lined shore crabs, ghost shrimp, endangered bay scallops. littleneck clams, innkeeper worms and dozens of other crustaceans, invertebrates, etc.

This area was fenced off and largely off limits to people. This is where there were millions upon millions of ghost shrimp that would spawn and then their larva would be carried down and into the Santa Ana River where they would settle in beds across the river delta, along the beach and up the coast in the Talbert Estuary.

Instead of asking someone to help them move and relocated them they just bulldozed them and stated in their Final Environmental Assessment that: “With the implementation of mitigation measures, the impacts to invertebrates are expected to be minimal, temporary, and not significant”

BULL HONKEY! They destroyed 20 years of crabs, ghost shrimp, innkeeper worms, bay scallops and littleneck clams in one week. Nice going you idiots! Don’t they realize that this is where the “minor league” stock of bait and fish comes from?

My guess is that it will take between two and four years for most of them to come back. Which may be just in time for them to bulldoze the baby pond again!

This upcoming week has some fairly weak tides and a series of storms that will be crashing the coast. Provided we don’t have too much wind with the storms we should be in great shape next weekend and for the week beyond as we have some great tides occurring around the full moon.
Remember, when it’s a full moon period surf fish seem to like to eat later in the day so I like to go out in the late afternoon until sundown to get my fishing fix!

Have a great weekend and get out there before the wind blows you off the beach…


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