Surf Fishing Round-Up

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Yellowfin croaker have been active
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Leopard sharks and bat rays active

Terrific halibut fishing
A very good week of halibut fishing, reported Hook, Line and Sinker in Santa Barbara. The sand spit at the harbor mouth was one of the hot spots this week kicking out several legal fish. Taylor Cole from Santa Barbara stuck a 32-inch fish on a Big Hammer swimbait. Flash Minnows have also been working. East and Goleta beaches have also been holding. The perch bite has been solid but overshadowed by the good halibut bite. Jalama, East Beach, Graveyards, and Gaviota have been good for anglers dragging Carolina-rigged grubs. A mix of shallow water rockfish and bass have been taking squid strips fished off the reefed beaches.

MALIBU — Sharks and rays have been active in the surf zone, reported Wylie’s. Anglers soaking squid have been landing a mix of leopards, shovelnose, bat rays and sting rays. The rocky points have been best and the night bite has been better than the day. The best perch fishing has been up off Mugu and off Oxnard and Ventura beaches. The spawn is winding down but there are still some 2-pound class fish for the taking. More and more yellowfin croaker have been showing inside and some of the first corbina have also been seen cruising the breakers. Mackerel have been plentiful off the pier.

REDONDO BEACH — Corbina are starting to show in good numbers along south bay beaches, reported Just Fishing. The first spots of sandcrabs seem to have drawn the fish in. No biters yet but that is a matter of time. Anglers throwing flash Minnows or slow rolling Krocodiles along Torrance Beach are finding some nice kicker halibut. There are a fair amount of shorts but the quality mixed in, makes it worth a try. Hermosa and Manhattan are also holding more and more halibut. Rock hoppers off PV are finding calico bass and smaller seabass inside the kelp. Opaleye are also showing for those soaking peas under a float.

SEAL BEACH — Striped bass were on the bite off the warm water jetty, reported Big Fish. The fish were under the birds at the mouth of the San Gabriel River channel. A shop regular landed two 12-pound fish but lost a third estimated 30-pound fish, to a treble hook that opened up. Flash Minnows and Pointers have been best baits. Finding the birds and the bait is key to targeting these elusive fish. There are also some nice halibut with those spots of bait. Several halibut were taken at the 72nd Place jetty on drop shot Zoom Flukes. The long rodders have been scoring some big spotfin outside the breakers at Bolsa Chica. Ghost shrimp has been working best on the 2- to 4-pound croaker.

NEWPORT BEACH — The halibut bite is on the upswing, reported KetchamBait andTackle. Anglers are finding fish at the harbor mouth, near the piers, off the street jetties and at River Jetties. White Lucky Craft Flash Minnowshave been a hot bait. Krocodiles, swimbaits, flukes and cut anchovy are also producing. More and more spotfin are showing in the croaker mix. Quality fish have been taken in the bay, off the piers and off the street jetties. Ghost shrimp, bloodworms and mussel have been top baits. A few fish have been in the 4-pound class.

DANA POINT — The fishing finally took off along this stretch, reported Hogan’s Bait and Tackle. Cleaner, warmer water has pushed out the cooler, off color water. Big spots off sandcrabs have shown off Salt Creek and Strands. Anglers soaking the better size crabs are taking quality yellowfin and spotfin. The first corbina catches of the season were also recorded here. The croaker have ranged up to 4 pounds and the corbina have been small. The San Clemente Pier area also saw some good croaker fishing with the occasional corbina. The shark and ray fishing has been wide open at Doheny and the pier and below Cottons. Anglers fishing with slab mackerel off Churches hooked and lost two thresher sharks from the shore. They landed a mix of leopards, shovelnose and bat rays. The halibut bite has picked up all along Capo Bay beaches.

OCEANSIDE — Another week of terrific halibut fishing, reported Pacific Coast Bait and Tackle. Catching a 10 pounder will hardly raise an eye around here. Big fish this week was a 13-pound, 7-ounce fish taken off the Army/Navy Academy on a Flash Minnow. The fish lands third behind a 31 and a 17 in the Penn sponsored halibut derby. The lagoons also produced some good halibut catches to go with excellent croaker fishing with a few of the spotfin pushing 5 pounds. Some of the year’s first orangemouth were also taken at the lagoon mouths on bright colored swimbaits.

SOLANO BEACH — Lunker of the week was a 20-pound, 3-ounce halibut, reported Blue Water. The big fish was taken near the 1-5 bridge in the Batiquitos Lagoon. A white Berkley Jerk Shad fished on a lead head was the magic bait. Several other fish were taken off Ponto. Some better perch were on the bite off Torrey Pines. Anglers reported a good grub bite on fish to 1½ pounds. The spotfin bite has also been good in and around the river and lagoon mouths. Ghost shrimp and mussel have been top producers.

Compiled by Gundy Gunderson

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