Saturday, December 21, 2013

The weather man said this week that a storm was coming so I made my way down to a favorite bait spot and picked up some ghost shrimp, clams and sidewinder crabs.  This time of year fish always find their way to a place where they have a bit of protection from the weather—so I made my way down to the rocks in Huntington Beach to find a few perch.

Beautiful conditions awaited me the day before the storm

 It was high tide and the water was fairly calm.  I cast out a sidewinder and before it made it to the bottom a nice barred surfperch jumped on the line

I switched baits to the ghost shrimp and sent my bait out into the current.  Another quick bite and a feisty walleye perch fought me to shore
 Another sidewinder and another perch
This went on until the tide dropped and the current picked up. 
Finally out of bait it was time to move on…

This time of year I like to fish near rock structure.  Jetties, harbor entrances and estuaries are all great places to surf fish once the water cools down below sixty degrees.  Fish find their way off the open beach and into estuaries or near rocks so that they are somewhat protected from winter storms and also because that’s where their forage will be.  Now that sand crabs are gone from the beach, rock areas really are the only places to offer food.

When I fish near the rocks I like to fish right where rock meets water.  We could call that the “snag zone” because you are right on the edge of the rocks.  This is my favorite area to fish because the biggest fish actually live right in the cracks of the rocks and dart out after a sizeable wave to feed.

 Did you see this great report from the SWAT team?  Dan Corey with a nice striper taken on a Lucky Craft in the South Bay...They caught three that day!

In order not to get my Carolina rig snagged I shorten my leader to twelve inches (6lb fluorocarbon) and lighten my sliding sinker to one-eighth ounce.  That way, if my bait/rig does get pulled into the rocks it is unlikely to snag and I can just softly “bounce” it out of the rocks and cast over. 

Sidewinder crabs, clams, worms and ghost shrimp make great bait this time of year for perch and croaker.  Also, grubs work well and for halibut fishing a small krocadile or a hard bait like a Lucky Craft lure are my go to baits.

This week we have some very small tides.  These tides don’t offer great opportunity but as the high builds in and the water calms down there will be some good times to fish at or near the high tide periods.  The extended forecast for the New Year’s week looks great with good weather expected, light winds and some awesome bait collecting and fishing tides.

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