Saturday, June 29, 2013

Great surf fishing continues this week with some outstanding fish reports.  I tried to get down to the beach several times this weeks as the tide was rising from high to low.  Because corbina and spotfin are only eating the largest soft crabs it took quite a while to find the perfect bait.  Although there are more sand crabs at the beach than I’ve ever seen most are hard and softies are tough to come by.
We have had a southwest swell and now a combined south swell pushing warm clear water up the beach.  The temperature has risen to around 70 degrees, which is up from 65 last week.  I found a good trough to fish and flung out the Carolina rig and sand crab.  The perch bite has been so wide-open they have turned into a menace and you really have to work to get through them to catch the big one.

Luckily, this yellowfin found my bait and got there before the perch!
In the meantime I hooked this huge (24+” wings) sting ray and took me for a ride.  Lifeguards have been treating dozens of folks with “stings” so please remember to shuffle your feet when walking our and back in the surf.  If you are unlucky enough to meet up with one soak the area in the hottest water you can stand and it will quickly reduce the pain…


Besides plenty of big corbina swimming around the surf has been full of little guys like this…


Time was running short and I had one big softy left.  I cast it out—but not even a tick.  I decided to walk down the beach a piece and ask another angler how he was doing.  Perch for him too so I moved on about 100 yards and cast out.  Once my bait hit the bottom my line stretched out in the current and ran north.  Line pulled tight, rod tip bent and I was on.  I fought the fish up and down the beach for about ten minutes until she washed up on the shore.  Warren was nice enough to take my picture so I could quickly let her go…

Warmer water coming up from the south is never bad.  This week I saw 17 corbina splashing on crab beds in the shallow surf, 2 big spotfin fighting over a crab bed in four inches of water and a school of grunion the size of home depot moving up the coast in anticipation of their evening landing.

Surf fishing does not get better than this.  Here are my suggestions for this upcoming 4th of July week:  I would watch the tides and fish the period from low to high tide.  That’s not to say other tides might be good too—but fish are keying in on sand crab beds and like to ride the tide up and over them.  I would fish with a large soft sand crab, mussel, ghost shrimp or bloodworm.  Morning and evening have been good.  If I were to fish for halibut I would go to and click on the grunion run link and fish beaches just after the previous evening’s run.  Lastly, I’d move along the beach to try to cover as much sand as possible in hopes of finding the really big one and catching it!

Check out my seminar page for information on the upcoming on-the-beach seminar in San Diego at South Carlsbad State Beach on July 19 and 20th.  Have a great 4th and remember:  “There is a fine line between standing on the beach and catching fish and standing on the beach and looking like an idiot!”  unknown…


Home of the All-in-One Surf Tackle Kit

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Much of this week waves from a strong south swell crashed the Orange County beaches and made fishing a bit tough. Thankfully, the waves calmed down and the water heated up (73 degrees in Orange County) to produce some very good bites at the beach.
The evening tides seemed to hold the most promise for both collecting sand crabs and catching fish. We made it to the beach and spent twenty-minutes to find soft sand crabs. This year has been unusual with the beaches loaded with millions upon millions of sand crabs. Fish now have so much bait to choose from that they are only eating the softest crabs. With the largest fish only eating the largest soft shell crabs.

It seems like a complete army of perch are guarding the beach with bites and swipes of bait on every cast. After a few cast this nice perch made it to the beach. Many eight inch fish with two around thirteen inches.

Down the beach my buddy Mark is hooked up and he pulls this nice corbina to shore

Not too much later I toss out a large soft crab on the Carolina rig and hook into this beautiful spotfin croaker

Just one bait left cause it’s getting late and I’m tired! Cast out hook into a fish. This nice corbina slides to shore and bring the end to a perfect day at the beach!

Next week has some improved tides with later in the week giving us both a morning and afternoon high tide. It now looks like a sizeable South swell should be hitting the coast early Thursday and holding in the five-foot range until late Sunday. The following week has very little swell action so the beach should recover quickly and because of the big swell the water will be even warmer. If you do plan to fish during the peak swell period, try to find a spot near a jetty or harbor where you (and the fish) can find a bit of protection.

Fish reports this week came from up and down the coast with a 15lb striper caught in San Diego by Robert Gudger , a thirty-four inch halibut caught by Dan Morita of Culver City also on a Lucky Craft, and nice Spotfin showing for Jack in Newport Beach. Surf fishing has been good at most every beach in Southern California with perch and corbina to the North and spotfin, halibut, yellowfin and corbina to the South.
Don’t forget about my upcoming on-the-beach seminars—our June seminar at Bolsa Chica and San Diego, Carpenteria and more Bolsa to come. Until then I’ll see you in Fish Taco Chronicles, Western Outdoor News, Florida Sportsman and on the beach!

Home of the All-in-One Surf Tackle Kit