Bill Varney – SURF LINES

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Friday, September 6, 2019
Where To Find Fish At The Beach
Thursday, October 10, 2019
Tips & tricks for fall corbina

Lunker sheephead landed off of Malibu
The halibut specialists made some good catches this week, reported Hook, Line and Sinker in Santa Barbara. Strong tides and lots of bait in the shallows combined to put the fish on the feed. Most of the fish have been in the 18- to 28-inch range. Flash Minnows have been best in the surf. Smelt and anchovy-pattern swimbaits have been best in calmer waters. The stretch near the Goleta Pier continues to produce but other spots like Gaviota, East Beach, the sand bar and Carpinteria have been kicking out fish. Good perch catches were also the norm on most beaches. A lot of smaller fish but some quality kickers up to 1¾ -pounds were reported. Gulp! 2-inch Sandworms, Motor Oil and Root Beer grubs have been the top artificials, cut anchovy and mussel, the top baits. Anglers soaking squid off Campus Point have been posting a mix of calico bass, johnny bass, chocolate rockfish and the occasional leopard shark.


A 28-POUND SHEEPHEAD landed by Chad Skowron of Malibu taken on a whole squid fished on a 9/0 hook.

MALIBU — Catch of the week was a lunker sheephead taken off the reef near Gladstones, reported Wylie’s. The angler was soaking a whole squid on a 9/0 hook targeting bat rays. The fish, landed on the beach, weighed 28 pounds. The corbina bite has been very good with anglers landing several fish in a session. Most of the fish have ranged from 1 to 2 pounds with a few better kickers mixed in. Larger single or two smaller sand crabs have been the baits of choice. Both Malibu and Santa Monica beaches have been holding lots of fish. The long rodders have been scoring a nice mixed bag catch on the reefed beaches. Yellowfin croaker and sand bass have been the top catches. Calico bass, small leopard sharks and shallow water rockfish have also been in the mix. The shark and ray bite was good with a full moon and strong tides putting the fish on the feed. Squid and slabbed mackerel have been the top baits.

REDONDO BEACH — With strong tides and ideal beach conditions, the corbina bite was good again this week, according to Just Fishing. Good catches were reported from El Segundo, Manhattan, Hermosa and Torrance beaches. The sand crabs are still on the smaller side. Some anglers are pinning two or three on, others are screening for larger ones. Some catches were made on bloodworms and mussel. Top fish were tickling the 4-pound mark. Anglers have been averaging a solid 3 fish in a session. Some yellowfin croaker and small leopards have also been in the mix. A few halibut catches were reported but not many anglers have been targeting them. A couple just- legal fish were taken in the harbor on small drop-shot soft jerkbaits. The bonito are showing in and around the harbor with more frequency. Small Krocodiles and Kastmasters have been getting a few bites. The shark and ray bite continues solid off Dockweiler Beach. Whole squid and slab mackerel have been the top baits.

SEAL BEACH — The corbina bite improved this week with an influx of cleaner water and strong, full moon tides, reported Big Fish. The smaller fish ranging from 1 to 2 pounds were biting best. The larger models are present but much tougher to hook. Some are finding success with exotic baits like ghost shrimp and bloodworms. A few better models were pushing the 4-pound mark. Small barred perch, shiner perch, small leopard sharks and yellowfin croakers have also been in the mix. The full moon tides had the croakers on the bite. Yellowfin to 4 pounds and spotfin to 5 pounds were reported taken off the piers, jetties and river mouths. Good catches were reported from San Gabriel River channel, the Seal Beach Pier and jetty, 72nd place jetty and the Bolsa Chica Inlet. The inlet was also good for a few legal halibut taken on white drop-shot Zoom Flukes and one better model on live smelt. The bay bass bite continues strong in Alamitos Bay.

NEWPORT BEACH — With strong tides and good water conditions, the corbina bite was the top draw along this stretch. Anglers reported from 2 to 4 fish in a session. Most of the fish have ranged from 1 to 3 pounds but there have been fish in the 4-pound class reported. Catches were made from the stretch near the piers, the street jetties, River Jetties and Newland. One angler fishing near the street jetties landed 3 corbina to 2½ pounds, 2 yellowfin croaker and a leopard shark fishing the top of the high tide. The long rodders fishing mussel outside the breakers landed a nice mixed bag of yellowfin and spotfin croakers. River Jetties and the street jetties have been good stretches. Most of the yellowfin have been in the 2- to 3-pound class with the bigger spotfin pushing 5 pounds.

DANA POINT — Corbina anglers found clean water at Strands and Salt Creek and posted good corbina catches, according to Hogan’s. Anglers reported landing multiples on smaller sand crabs. Other anglers found success with lugworms and fresh mussel. Good numbers of smaller barred perch, shiner perch and small leopards were also in the mix. The strong tides and bright moon had the croakers on the bite in and around the harbor and off the pier and off Old Man’s. Casting a sand crab or mussel outside the breakers has been the ticket. The yellowfin have been ranging from 2 to 3 pounds and a few of the spotfin were in the 5-pound class. Many of the better spotfin were taken at night. The leopard shark bite has been good at Doheny. No big fish but good numbers of smaller models to 30 inches. Squid and mackerel have been the top baits.

OCEANSIDE — The Army/Navy Academy continues to be a good stretch for corbina specialists, according to Pacific Coast. Anglers are landing from 2 to 4 fish in a session with some big kickers in the mix — a couple of fish in the 4-pound class were reported. Other catches were made from south Oceanside, South Carlsbad and Cardiff. The action slowed a bit from previous weeks but is still good. The croaker bite was also above average this week with strong, full moon and tides. The long rodders have been using a high-low or double dropper loop rig. Sand crabs, mussel and lugworms have been the top baits. A 28-inch halibut was taken at Ponto on a Flash Minnow. A 36- and a 34-inch fish were also reported taken by spear fisherman. The best bet in the lagoons has been a hot spotted bay bass bite. Creature baits, underspins and swimbaits have been working well.

SOLANA BEACH — Another week of good corbina catches, according to Blue Water. Most anglers posted multiples fishing sand crabs on the incoming tides. With larger crabs tougher to find, anglers have been stringing 2 and 3 crabs on a baitholder hook. Lugworms have been a good backup in lieu of bigger crabs. Most of the fish have been in the 2-pound class with a couple 4-pound models reported. Good spots have been Cardiff, Del Mar, Torrey Pines and Mission Beach. Table Tops kicked out some big spotfin croaker for the long rodders soaking mussel or ghost shrimp. The incoming high and outgoing high have been the best tide stretches. Another big striped bass was reported taken off Del Mar on a swimbait.

Compiled by Gundy Gunderson

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