Surf Fishing Round-Up

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Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Opaleye were on the bite
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Perch and halibut bite for anglers

Bill Varney to speak at Upstairs Seminar room every day of show
Bill Varney, surf fishing editor of Western Outdoor News, will be exhibiting at the Long Beach show in his booth 1100 located right near Fisherman’s Landing Tackle and Cousins rods. Stop by and get his book, and buy the latest cool gear for light tackle surf fishing.

Varney is a great speaker, fun and informative, and as a result his seminars are extremely popular. This year, there is no charge for his seminars, which in the past few years were offered as a pre-show seminar for a fee. In 2017, you can get his information for free and will be giving seminars at both the Long Beach and Del Mar shows.

In Long Beach he will be at the upstairs seminar room Wednesday through Sunday at 2:30 p.m. every day, and noon on Saturday at the Saltwater Tank. 

SANTA BARBARA — Several striped bass were taken from the surf this week, reported Hook, Line and Sinker. One fish was taken at Graveyards but as a rule, the rivermouths with recent runoff has been the places to look. The top locating bait has been Flash Minnows. The perch bite has been solid as the weather improves. Lots of palm-sized fish with some kickers up to 1 ¼ pounds. Gulp! 2-inch Sandworms in bloody, Kalin Lunker Grubs and lugworms have all been taking fish. A few bonito were also reported splashing around outside the surf line.

MALIBU — Uptown Derby anglers found quality perch on Ventura Beaches, reported Wylie’s. Saturday, the Uptown group, after recent weather delays, finally found some better fish on Oxnard and Ventura beaches. Bruce Horiguchi from L.A. took top honors with a 2-pound, 1½ -ounce fish and Kurt Nakano finished second with a 2-pound, 1-ounce fish. One other fish was in the 2-pound class. Lucky Craft Flash Minnows in Metallic Sardine and MS Anchovy were the top baits. Young angler Moses Wilson from Malibu, took a 4.8-ounce halibut on a Gulp! Mullet off Coastline Drive.

REDONDO BEACH — Manhattan and Hermosa Beaches are holding more and more schools of barred perch, reported Just Fishing. As the weather improves, anglers are finding more and more biting fish. Grubs have been the top locater. Lugworms, mussel and Gulp! Sandworms have also been producing. The fish have been running from ½ to 1¼-pounds with most fish under a pound. Anglers throwing Lucky Craft or bouncing Krocodiles have been sticking a few halibut off Torrance Beach. Look for this bite to pick-up as the weather gets better.

SEAL BEACH — The halibut bite on the protected beaches has been good, reported Big Fish. The stretch from 72nd place, Cherry Beach and the Long Beach Shoreline has been best with lots of bait inside. Reaction baits like Flash Minnows in electric grunion and sardine have been tops. Plastic swimbaits and jerk baits have also been working well. The bass bite continues to be above average in the bay. Smelt and anchovy pattern swimbaits have been deadly fished around the pilings and jetties.


FATHER GREG TAITE holds a chunky spotfin and son, 5-year old Cole proudly displays a big corbina taken on innkeeper worms in Huntington Harbor.

NEWPORT BEACH — Catches of the week were a 5-pound spotfin and a 3-pound corbina taken in Huntington Harbor, reported Ketcham Bait and tackle. Father and son team Greg and Cole Taite made the catches on a new Shimano Tranx 300 with 6-pound test and an innkeeper worm. Cole is just 5 years old and will submit the corbina to the Balboa Bay Club for a Small Fry Division record. Some quality barred perch have been showing from along the stretch from the piers to the Wedge. Dragging carolina rigged grubs has been the ticket.

DANA POINT — The lugworm bite picked up again off Doheny and off and around the San Clemente Pier. A nice mix off barred perch, yellowfin, spotfin and the occasional corbina have been taking the live worms. The barred perch bite has been shaping up off Salt Creek and Strands. Most of the fish are under a pound but the numbers have been good. Look for more quality to filter in as the spawn approaches. There have also been some halibut staging outside the surfline along this stretch. A slow rolled Krocodile has been a good way to find one.

OCEANSIDE — Post-storm conditions have made for good lagoon fishing, reported Pacific Coast. A giant 41-inch halibut was caught in the one of the lagoons on a Lucky Craft Flash Minnow. Several big spotted bay bass were also reported caught and released. A 14-, a 15-, and a 17-inch bay bass were reported to the shop. The lagoons have been cleaned out and deepened by the recent heavy runoff allowing greater flow and attracting lots of bait. It is a good harbinger for the spring. Spotfin and yellowfin croaker have also been active in the lagoons and off the Oceanside Pier. Lugworms have been a top bait. The perch bite has been slow with an 11-ounce fish leading the Shimano sponsored Perch Derby.

SOLANA BEACH — The lagoon and river mouths have been top producers this week, reported Blue Water. Anglers throwing hard jerk baits have been sticking more and more halibut and catching a few striped bass focusing on the newly formed bars and trenches. Mid to higher tide has been best. Lots of smelt have been active inside. The best barred perch action has been off Mission Beach but few fish have been better than a pound. Grubs and Gulp! Sandworms are tough to beat.

Compiled by Gundy Gunderson

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