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Surf Fishing Round-Up

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Tuesday, January 02, 2018
Surfperch went on the bite
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Halibut fishing was much improved

Perch has been the top draw
The perch bite was top dog along this stretch, reported Hook, Line and Sinker in Santa Barbara. Anglers reported easy limits on ½- to 1½-pound fish. Root beer-colored Big Hammer surf grubs fished on a darter head have been hot. Carolina-rigged Gulp! Sandworms have been a close second. Good reports have come from Jalama, Gaviota, Goleta, East Beach and Carpinteria. Flash flooding has made access challenging. Additionally, there is a lot of junk on the beach. The harbor spit has been a hot spot for a mix of short and legal halibut. Small smelt and anchovy-pattern swimbaits and soft jerkbaits have been effective — better models have pushed 30 inches.

MALIBU — Few anglers made it up to the perch grounds, reported Wylie’s. The rain and mudslides have made access difficult. Prior to the calamity, good perch catches were reported near Point Mugu and on Ventura and Oxnard beaches. Look for these bites to continue with improved conditions and access. Campers at Leo Carrillo reported catching a mix of small barred perch, shallow rockfish, yellowfin croaker, leopard sharks and short halibut. Cut anchovy and shrimp have been good baits.

REDONDO BEACH — Still a few biting spots of striped bass on South Bay beaches, reported Just Fishing. The fish are following the bait. Most of the catches have been in the 4- to 8-pound class with a few kickers reaching double digits. Feathered Kastmasters and Hopkins spoons have been good fish locators. It is important to cover as much ground as possible. The barred perch schools have been scattered. Carolina-rigged grubs have been a good fish finder. Once you find a school, you can stay with it for multiple fish. The bonito are still cruising in and around the harbor. Splashers and Krocodiles have been getting bites. Surprise catch of the week was a bonefish caught in King Harbor.

SEAL BEACH — The barred perch bite at Bolsa Chica has been the top draw, reported Big Fish. The grubbers are scoring easy limits of fish to 1½ pounds, with most ranging from around ½ to 1 pound. The bait bite has also been good with salted anchovy taking a little better quality fish. The stretch near the Huntington Pier has also been excellent. Cherry Beach kicked out several legal halibut this week. The whole Shoreline Drive stretch has been holding lots of flatfish. Spots of small anchovies are keeping the fish inside.

NEWPORT BEACH — The halibut bite perked up all along this section, reported Ketcham Tackle. The hot spot was River Jetties but catches were reported from Newland to the Wedge. The Fluke baits and slugs in white have been effective in the cooler water. Dartheads and drop-shot rigs have also been working. Live smelt has been a good way to hook a better fish. The barred perch bite is gaining legs. More and better quality fish are showing from the pier to the Wedge. Root beer and motor oil grubs have been hard to beat. A few of the better fish have been pushing 2 pounds.

DANA POINT — Excellent halibut fishing all along this stretch, reported Hogan’s. Anglers reported taking fish all along Capo Bay. There has been lots of shorts but plenty of legal fish in the mix. Top baits have been natural, with cut anchovy and squid working best. A small trap hook will greatly increase your hook-up ratio. For lures, white Zoom Flukes and 110 and 115 Flash Minnows in smelt patterns have also been deadly. Catches were reported at Strands, Salt Creek, Doheny, the pier, State Park and Cottons Point. The barred perch bite has been good but the bulk of the fish have been palm-size. Big Hammer surf grubs in motor oil and root beer have been the ticket.

OCEANSIDE — The spotfin croaker bit in the lagoon after the water started to clear, reported Pacific Coast. Anglers scored fish up to 3½ pounds on Gulp! Sandworms. A few spotted bay bass were also in the mix. The barred perch bite has been spotty this week. After the storms, the beach water was streaky. Better bites were had in the cleaner water. The halibut bite was best in the harbor, where anglers throwing small swimbaits and jerkbaits were scoring several fish in a session. Unfortunately, it took about ten shorts to get a legal. On the beach, the best halibut bite has been at Cardiff near the lagoon mouth.

SOLANA BEACH — Relatively warm water temps have kept the ball rolling, reported Blue Water. Anglers soaking mussel and clam outside the breakers at Ponto and Del Mar are reporting good numbers of yellowfin and spotfin croaker, barred perch, leopard sharks and the occasional sand bass. The halibut bite also perked up this week with anchovy feeding in the off-color, post-storm water. Natural baits like cut anchovy and squid have been working best. A few halibut were even taken on ghost shrimp. The lagoon and river mouths have been the best places to look.

— Compiled by Gundy Gunderson

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