View Full Version : Any pointers for a new guy?
06-28-2005, 07:50 AM
I live on a Navybase, Point Mugu, that has a couple of beaches and I've considered trying surf fishing. I dont know anything about it and was hoping I might get some advice and pointers here. Any input would be appreciated!
06-28-2005, 03:27 PM
If you're fishing off of the beach try to find an unpressured area, and fish it on the slack tide, that is high tide going out. Use squid or anchovies but if you dig and find sand crabs use them. Find a pocket where the water washes some what higher on the beach than anywhere esle and fish that, it will hold the majority of fish. If you have waders take them it will make your fishing experience much more pleasant.
Let us know what happens.
06-29-2005, 02:48 PM
Thanks, I will keep that in mind. I still need to buy the gearl I am guessing my fresh water poles I used back in MO aren't up to the job.
I am guessing I'll need a steel leader? Any other must haves?
06-29-2005, 07:21 PM
NO STEEL LEADER!!!!!!
we're not fishing for musky or pike here. just surf perch.
buy a 7-8 foot rod medium action, large spin casting and some 20-50 pound test what ever you prefer on the line. size 6 to 1/0 hooks and there you go
steel leaders are just trouble some and the fish can see them and may not strike, I haven't had any need for them, if you must just use a heavier mono leader.
spiderwire or fireline is also good in the surf conditions
good luck and remember to keep us updated
07-01-2005, 01:46 PM
I use a 7 foot Shimano Clarus(medium,fast taper),don't need an expensive reel,something like a Shimano slade or similar,#6-#8 line.simple rig 1\4 oz. slip sinker,small bead,swivel,18-24" leader,#6-#8 hook.As for bait the hot ticket is Berkley power sand worm or 2"motor oil flake grubs.If they're biting they'll hit those.Good luck.
07-01-2005, 01:51 PM
What permits do I need? Anything I might catch that I can't keep ad eat?
07-01-2005, 03:34 PM
You just need a CA state saltwater fishing liscence.
any perch that you catch you can keep and eat, most everything that you catch in the surf you will be able to eat
this picture was taken about 10 years ago, I'm the scronny one on the left, and was done all in a half an hour
If I recall we caught the majority on mussel
07-05-2005, 05:41 PM
Hey Heath, I've used everything from a small trout pole to a 15 1/2 foot monster off the surf. I've hooked stuff that I couldn't stop on 40-pound and huge corbina (4-5 lbs) and large surf perch (2-3 pounds) on light line. I use a small red hook (sorry I'm not good with the sizes) and a barrel sinker. I also use snad crabs when I can find them. Just watch for rough sand when the wave reseads. That is the sand grabs feeding. Grab a fist full of sand and you should pull up some crabs. The softer ones are deadly for the larger corbina and spotfin croaker. Almost every time I've gone, I've been hit in the legs by fish swimming in the shallows. Almost all are good eating fish. Some will hit like freight trains others will pick it up gently. You only need a CA fishing license and your set. Good luck and let me know how you do.
07-09-2005, 04:38 PM
Thanks Tim, I will give that a try!
I am heading out with a truck full of guys on the 23rd and heading up Owens Valley. You been after the yotes yet?
07-14-2005, 10:01 PM
in my limited experience i have found that casting right behind thew breakers is where most are. i was heaving mine as far as i could and getting nothing and watched the guy next to me, he was behind the break catching everything.
07-16-2005, 01:27 AM
yeah, what tinner said....
think logically...the perch are feeding on small fish and sand crabs. What better spot to find sand crabs and confused lost little fishys than right in the breakers. it stirs up the bottom and exposes crabs and can take a small fish for quite a spin.
07-22-2005, 01:19 AM
Great info guys. Not to hijack the thread but I assume a lot of the methods and bait mentioned will work further north too (e.g. Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay)?
Sounds like light tackle is all you need if you can throw it past the breakers. I will definitely take the pole next time we go to the beach with the family.
What do I do for ID-ing the fish, so I make sure I don't keep anything that isn't legal? Are there any good ID cards or books?
07-22-2005, 09:47 PM
Pretty much everything that you catch in the surf, you can keep, except for a short halibut. You can check out California Dep. of Fish and Game's website that gives you some identification. The one book that you want to buy is a book by Raymond Cannon called "How to Fish the Pacific Coast" This identifies every fish that can be caught from Mexico to Alaska.
Good luck and let us know how things go.
07-22-2005, 10:00 PM
Thanks much CAjackrabbit! I did some searching in the forums and actually already found the reference to the Cannon book. It's already ordered through half.com, since it doesn't seem to be available any more new. Newest I could find is a 76 edition. Is this possible?
I also searched the dfg home page and produced this ID card!
It's listed along with other ID info on this web page:
This is also helpful:
You can say what you want, but the DFG site is real nice! I'll report back with the "catch". I am going to be optimistic and bring the bbq!
08-01-2005, 10:00 PM
I've been scouting out some new areas, but I heven't been out yet. How'd you guys do on the 23rd? I've seen a lot of life out there, so I think it'll be a good year for predators. Lots of new ears and no experience. I hope you scored.
08-02-2005, 10:46 PM
I indeed went out with the family a week ago. I passed by the local bait store and they sold me some ugly looking salt water worms that were sitting in a pile of sea weed! I tried that along with some abalone guts I had kept in the freezer. I did not catch a single fish, only bathed those poor worms. I was in Half Moon bay. I talked to other folks that were fishing at the same beach and they all agreed that this was a poor place to fish. They said that they go further north or further south if it's a sole fishing trip. All of them just were there with the family and figured they may as well take the fishing rod ... I think it may have to do with the bay being set back and there not being as much food for the fish as elsewhere on the coast.
I got the Cannon book today and it looks like a great reference. I will use it to prepare myself for some rockfishing in the Mendocino / Fort Bragg area. He says that rockfishing is probably the most productive fishing you can do at the Pacific coast. I am taking the family on a camping trip there the end of the month. Those rockfish look ugly, but I hear that they are good eating. I certainly hope I can supplement the camp food!
I hope everyone else has better luck with those perch. I am lucky that I had a chance to go trout fishing in the Sierra last weekend to make up for the saltwater disaster. ;) Next time I go to Half Moon Bay, I'll focus on building sandcastles.
08-03-2005, 09:24 PM
Yes you will certaintly have to pay you'r dues before you get the hang of surf/rock fishing. We all have. I prefer rock fishing over surf fishing, bigger fish and a larger variety. The abalone is killer for cabezon and grass bass they won't last long if the fish are present. Sometimes you can find what I call green worms or blood worms in the mussel on the rocks. You can kick them off or spray bleech on them to see if they are any there, but don't let the enviro-freeks see you. They have two teeth/pinchers that come out at you so be careful of that not that it hurts but looks like something out of an alien movie. THose work killer for perch.
If you fish the rocks bring lots of lead and other equipment you'll need it when just beguinning. ONce you fish an area and get to know it you'll know where the holes are and where you can throw without getting hung up.
08-04-2005, 11:29 AM
Thanks for the advice.
I only have light tackle right now and will have to get something more sturdy for fishing the rocks and also the surf if I try that again. Can you please give me some advice before I spend my hard earned?
I was thinking a Penn 8500SS Saltwater Spinning Reel. Is that too large for rockfish? Cannon recommends 30+ pound line for rockfishing and this looks like the correct reel for such heavy line. I want to stick with a Penn spinning reel, because I have the smaller ones (4400?) for trout and other light Gulf saltwater fishing and it is very nice.
What sort of rod do I get for fishing off the rocks? A short heavy one or a long surf fishing rod? What weight range?
Your hep is greatly appreciated!!!
08-07-2005, 01:31 PM
As for my set up's I have several. First off many different set up's will work depending on what kind of rock fishing you are going to do. If you do a lot of short casting, like to pockets and channels you do not need overly large and heave equipment. I have caught my biggest fish on these set up's. 5 foot medium heavy to medium light rods. With a bass bait caster with 30 pound braid but lighter mono works just as good.
My casters are 6' 6'' to 7' medium heavy to light with spinning.
We started out using like 50 pound spiderwire 10 years ago but have changed to mono today.
Also if you break rods don't throw them away try to fix them with apoxy and duct tape they have a real sensitive tip with plenty of back bone to haul rock fish out of their holes and from undercut.
I also have an 11' that I never use mainly because I don't do a lot of bluff fishing but you can cast out you'r whole spool with one of these.
08-07-2005, 01:32 PM
here is another pic of my set up's
08-07-2005, 01:33 PM
and one more of the rigs I use
08-12-2005, 10:24 AM
cajack, are there 2 hooks on that rig? are those the 3way swivels
08-12-2005, 10:38 AM
How much weight do you recommend?
08-12-2005, 11:39 AM
tinner, yes those are 3-way swivels they just help with all the tangles you get with rock fishing
smallblock, depending upon the tidal conditions I've used everything from 2 ounces to 4 ounces
Stronger current more weight, use whatever keeps you on the bottom
I've found that if you use too light of weight and are making further than normal casts that the current pushes your rig around and you get snagged losing much equipment and lots of $$$ after a couple of trips.
09-01-2005, 02:56 PM
Well, we went on our trip to the north coast. Had a blast. I was diving for abalone and the second day the sea just crawled with perch and rock fish. Instead of fishing from shore I went and bought myself a nice pole spear and harpooned the suckers! The rainbow perch were easy to get. They even turn around to look at you again, if you miss them with the first shot. I had to keep myself from hitting the small guys, otherwise you could have filled up on them... I also got a yellow rock fish that took a bit more work. Unfortunately on the day I had the spear, the water got murky and the rockfish were much harder to make out.
Anyway, looks like the rockfishing became rockfish - hunting. What a blast! I will likely grow gills, I spent so much time i the water.
03-03-2006, 06:04 PM
Idont know if I am supposed to do this but. "pierfishing.com" will help.Try it and report. Scott
03-04-2006, 09:57 AM
Heath, next to predator hunting, surf fishing was my second love. You have some good fishing up your way for barred perch, corbina, halibut, calco bass, stingers, leopard sharks and a few others I can't think of. Go to one of the local bait shops and ask around, talk to some of the local fisherman.
One of these days I'll post some pic of surf fishing in Mexico. Awesome fishing on the Pacific side of Baja for white seabass, halibut, spotfin and a ton of other fish. I acutally caught about a 80 lb black seabass off the beach with a little help from the local ponga fisherman lol.
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