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CALIFORNIA'S ONLY SPORTSMAN'S NEWS SINCE 1953

Surf Fishing Round-Up


Bites have been easy to come by
Anglers fishing the cleaner stretches of water found good barred perch fishing this week, reported Hook, Line and Sinker in Santa Barbara. The stretch near the Goleta Pier, Carpinteria and, of course, Santa Clause Lane were three spots that kicked out limits. Most of the fish have ranged from 8- to 11-inches with a few bigger and more smaller. The bites have been easy to come by, on a variety of baits. Gulp! Sandworms have been strong. Lugworms have been solid. Grubs have been the best artificials. There are still some calico bass on the reefed spots with a few cabezon and shallow water rockfish in the mix. One good report came from Campus Point where cut squid fooled two calico bass and a 2.5-pound cab. East Beach produced a 28-inch halibut on a drop shot, white, Zoom Fluke.

MALIBU — Not a whole lot of anglers but still some catches being made, according to Wylie’s. A best bet has been the bite on the reefed beaches. Spots like El Matador, El Pescador, Leo Carillo and Big Rock. Anglers have been taking a mix of calico bass, sand bass, yellowfin croaker, barred perch, small leopard sharks and even a few nice cabezon. Squid has been a top bait. Other anglers are gathering the big mussels off the reefs at low tide and scoring nice mixed bags. Barred perch specialists have been finding the best fishing below Point Mugu. The perch have been mostly under a pound with a few better kickers. One corbina was reported. On the open Malibu beaches anglers have been finding action on barred perch and yellowfin croaker on Gulp! 2-inch Sandworms and small 5/8 prism Krocodiles.


REDONDO BEACH — Some nicer barred perch were taken near the rocks off Torrance Beach. A Carolina rigged root beer grub has been a good way to find a school. Once you get a bite you should hook several fish on the spot. The fish have ranged from 8 to 12 inches. There are still a few sand crabs along the rocks if you dig for them. A better crab will get an instant bite. Still a few corbina finning around. The perch numbers are growing along Hermosa, Manhattan and El Segundo beaches. The halibut bite has also improved with a few more legal fish mixed in with the shorts. Search baits that cover water, like hard jerkbaits and spoons have been best. The fish are scattered on the beaches. Look for holes or trenches at higher tides. A few bait fisherman took just legal halibut on cut anchovy in King Harbor.


SEAL BEACH — The best bet was a good spotfin bite near the Huntington Pier and off Huntington Cliffs. Pier anglers targeted the fish outside the breakers on Carolina rigs. Beach anglers cast double dropper loop rigs outside the breakers. Lugworms and bloodworms have been the hot baits. A few of the spotfin have been pushing the 4-pound mark. Some 2- to 3-pound yellowfin have also been in the mix. The strong moon and big tides had the fish on the bite. The water temp is still in the 60s. Not typical of December but good for warmer water preferring croaker. Most of the halibut catches this week were made in Alamitos Bay and Huntington Harbor. Small drop-shot plastics and cut anchovy have been the top baits. A few chunky bay bass were also in the mix. The barred perch catch has mostly been small. The numbers are improving, however.


NEWPORT BEACH — The end of the peninsula has been holding some better than average barred perch, according to Ketcham Tackle. The stretch from the piers to the Wedge has been best. Carolina rigged grubs have been a top bait. Clear/red flake and motor oil gold/flake have been hot colors. Most of the fish have been around the 1-pound mark with a few around a pound and a half. These steeper beaches have more current and may demand an egg sinker up to 3/4-ounce. River jetties has also been holding barred perch. The numbers are greater but the average size is much smaller. The street jetties kicked out a few croaker on the full moon tides. The mornings and evenings were best with anglers casting along the jetty rock. Bloodworms and fresh mussel have been the top baits. Most of the catch has been yellowfin, with a few, quality spotfin mixed in.


DANA POINT — Strands and Salt Creek and below the San Clemente Pier were the best stretches this week, according to Hogan’s. Lugworms have been the hot bait for a mix of barred perch, yellowfin croaker, shiner perch, small leopards and a few spotfin croaker. Barred perch have made up the bulk of the catch. Structure like reefs, holes, trenches and pilings seem to hold the better quality fish. Anglers targeting leopard sharks at Doheny have been finding success soaking squid or fresh mackerel. A few larger models were taken on a big strip of mackerel. The best bet for a halibut has been in and around the harbor where anglers have scored a handful of, just legal fish on drop shot Jerkits and flukes. Cut anchovy has also been effective. A yellowfin croaker and a few spotted bay bass and sand bass have also been in the mix.


OCEANSIDE — The halibut bite perked up in and around the lagoon and jetty mouths according to Pacific Coast. A shop regular took 2 legal fish on Friday on a drop shot, Gulp! Mullet fished in the tidal current. Spots of smelt and small anchovies have been feeding in the current. The spotted bay bass bite has also been notable in the lagoons. On the beach, the halibut bite has been spotty. The best bet has been targeting the barred perch and yellowfin croaker. Anglers soaking lugworms or mussel have been scoring limits of smaller perch and a sample of 1- to 2-pound yellowfin croaker. The water temperature was 62 on Saturday and one corbina was reported.


SOLANA BEACH — Three halibut ranging from 7 to 10 pounds were taken at the lagoon mouths this week, reported Blue Water. Metallic sardine pattern Flash Minnows were a hot bait. Cooling water has drawn in spots of baits. The bait soakers also scored some legal fish on cut anchovy. Strong full moon tides kicked up the action. The catch of the week, however, was a 15-pound striped bass. A father and two sons were fishing lugworms off Moonlight Beach in Encinitas ands hooked the fish. Thirty minutes and 300 yards later the group maneuvered the fish through a line of surfers and finally landed the big linesider. Post-storm conditions are ideal for catching a striped bass out of the surf.


— Compiled by Gundy Gunderson


• • • • •

We hope you enjoyed this article on our no-charge website wonews.com. Of course, this site contains only a small fraction of the stories that Western Outdoor Publications produces each week in its two northern and southern editions and its special supplements. You can subscribe to the print issue that is mailed weekly and includes the easy flip-page full-color digital issues, or you can purchase a digital only subscription. Click here to see the choice.


Fish are taking both bait and lures
Cooler water temps and strong tides made for limit-style perch fishing all along this stretch, reported Hook, Line and Sinker in Santa Barbara. Much of the catch was under a pound with a few kickers up to 1½. Mussel, lugworms, shrimp and cut anchovy have been top baits. Grubs and Gulp! Sandworms are also producing. The better-sized fish seem to be on the structure like reef, jetty rock and pier pilings. Good catches were reported from Goleta, Gaviota, East Beach and Carpinteria. Cooler water has also meant more bait in shallow. This has perked up the halibut bite as more and more fall fish are being reported. No real big fish but a good bite going on 18- to 26-inch models.

MALIBU — The shop held another Uptown Derby on Saturday, according to Wylie’s. The barred perch were plentiful with limit or near-limit fishing but most of the fish were under a pound. Dave Keeley from Tustin beached a 1-pound, 12-ounce barred perch to take top honors. The big perch fell for a sexy smelt pattern 110 Flash Minnow fished off Pt. Mugu. The group fished Carpinteria, Santa Clause, Ventura and Oxnard beaches and found lots of biters but just not a lot of bigger fish. Anglers fishing Malibu beaches surprisingly scored several late-season corbina. The fish have still been around but not inclined to bite a hooked bait.


REDONDO BEACH — With cooler water temps and a good sign of bait inside, more halibut were reported on the beaches, according to Just Fishing. Covering lots of water is key so search baits like hard jerkbaits and spoons have been the top choices. Look for birds and bait to tip off the most productive waters. Catches have been made off Manhattan and Torrance beaches. Most of the fish have ranged from 18 to 28 inches. The bait has also drawn in some striped bass as a few more fish were hooked in the surf zone. The fish have ranged from 4 to 8 pounds and have been taken on lures like flash Minnows and Krocodiles, or bait like lugworms or cut anchovy.


SEAL BEACH — Full moon tides and fair weather put the croaker in the mood this week, reported Big Fish. Anglers reported good catches of both yellowfin and spotfin croaker on a variety of baits. Fresh-shucked mussel was a top choice but bloodworms, lugworms, shrimp and cut squid were also working. Good catches were reported from The Seal Beach Pier and jetty, Dog Beach, 72nd Place, and the Bolsa Chica Inlet. The yellowfin ranged from 1 to 3 pounds. A few spotfin were pushing the 5-pound mark. With warm weather and water temps still in the mid 60s, a few corbina were hooked this week.


NEWPORT BEACH — Halibut anglers continue to pick at legal fish, according to Ketcham Tackle. River Jetties has been a better stretch with catches reported up to Newland. The fish are scattered so covering water and moving your feet is key. Look for signs of bait. Flash Minnows and XR-10s are good search baits. Spoon fishers can also score with Krocodiles or Kastmasters. The bait soakers are scoring a few legal fish at the harbor mouth. Cut anchovy and live smelt have been the top bait choices. Best bites take place on the tide movement in or out.


DANA POINT — South Laguna and Salt Creek continue to kick out good barred perch catches, according to Hogan’s. Good tides, clean water and warm weather put the fish in the mood. Even a few corbina were hooked this week. The perch have ranged from 8 to 12 inches. There are still spots of sand crabs tight to the reef and they can be made with a shovel and a screen. The better fish are relating to the reef. Mussel, bloodworms and lugworms are also working well. The perch are biting along Capo Bay beaches but are mostly small — still seeing corbina here.


OCEANSIDE — The halibut bite continued to gain steam both on the beaches and in the lagoons, reported Pacific Coast. Search baits like Flash Minnows and spoons were best on the open beaches. The lagoon mouths and river mouths were best with strong tides but fish were hooked on open beaches as well. The fish on the beach have ranged from 17 to 28 inches. Inside the lagoons, the smelt and small anchovy have been lining up in the tide current. Smelt and anchovy swimbaits have been working well. A couple fish in the 30-inch class were taken on live smelt.


SOLANA BEACH — The grub bite for barred perch was good off Mission Beach this week, according to Blue Water. Fair weather, strong tides and lots of smaller sand crabs had the fish on the bite. Most of the catch was well under a pound with the better models approaching 10 inches. Goggle eye and a few small yellowfin croaker were also in the mix. Other good perch catches were reported off Ponto, Del Mar and Torrey Pines. Small sand crabs, mussel and lugworms were good bait choices.


— Compiled by Gundy Gunderson


•   •   •   •   •

We hope you enjoyed this article on our no-charge website wonews.com. Of course, this site contains only a small fraction of the stories that Western Outdoor Publications produces each week in its two northern and southern editions and its special supplements. You can subscribe to the print issue that is mailed weekly and includes the easy flip-page full-color digital issues, or you can purchase a digital only subscription. Click here to see the choice.


Wahoo beached itself in the surfline
Anglers report more and more barred perch showing on most northern beaches, according to Hook, Line and Sinker in Santa Barbara. Gulp! Sandworms, grubs and mussel have been taking limits or near limits. The fish are ranging to 1½ pounds. Good catches were reported from Goleta, East Beach, Graveyards and Carpinteria. Good numbers of halibut have also been taken off the beaches. Flash Minnows have been the top lure, while cut salted anchovy has been the top bait.

MALIBU — The tackle shop was back open on Wednesday after several days closed due to the wildfires, according to Wylie’s. A few reports trickled in over the weekend. The old Charthouse was a hot spot kicking out nice quality calico bass. Swimbaits and cut squid has been working. One group caught and released several fish ranging to 3 pounds. This stretch has also been a good place to hook a legal halibut. Krocodiles, Flash Minnows and cut anchovy have been the best bet.


REDONDO BEACH — There are still a few corbina finning around Torrance Beach, reported Just Fishing. With the sand crabs hard to find, bloodworms and mussel are your best chance at hooking one. The water temperature has been holding up. This stretch has also been kicking out more and more halibut. It’s been mostly shorts but there are still a few nice kickers in the mix. Slow rolled Krocodiles have been the top lure. The bait bite has also been good with cut anchovy working best.


inoneof
IN ONE OF the rarest of happenings along the SoCal coast, this wahoo beached itself in the surfline off Seal Beach just a couple weeks ago.


SEAL BEACH — Anglers report seeing plenty of corbina still in the surfline, according to Big Fish. It has been challenging to hook one, however. Exotic baits like bloodworms and ghost shrimp are your best bet. The water is still in the mid 60s. Few anglers are pursuing them. Small barred perch and yellowfin croaker have also been taking the bait. The halibut bite has been good along Shoreline Drive and Cherry Beach. The trick is hooking a legal one.


NEWPORT BEACH — Anglers picked at a few corbina along this stretch, reported Ketcham Tackle. Smaller barred perch and a few yellowfin croaker were the main catch. Bloodworms and lugworms have been the better baits — the sand crabs are thinning out though. The yellowfin croaker were also biting off the street jetties and river jetties. Casting mussel or lugworms outside the breakers, along the jetty rock has been the ticket. A few spotfin, sargo and leopard sharks were also in the mix. The halibut bite was also improved all along this stretch. The first wave has been mostly shorts, but look for some better models to filter in.


DANA POINT — Several corbina were reported taken below the San Clemente Pier this week, according to Hogan’s Tackle. Warm water and good weather put the fish in the mood. A lively bloodworm has been the key bait. Barred perch, shiner perch, small leopard sharks and shovelnose were also in the mix. Best bet for barred perch has been off Strands and Salt Creek. A Carolina-rigged motor oil or root beer grub are a good fish finder. Some legal halibut have also been holding between the kelp and the breakers along this stretch.


OCEANSIDE — The corbina bite was good again this week, reported Pacific Coast. The late bite was fueled by warm water temps and ideal conditions. Fish were reported from several beaches, with the Army/Navy Academy being one of the better spots. Bloodworms have been the ticket with sand crabs tough to find. Some anglers reported several fish in a session. Lots of small barred perch have also been in the mix.


SOLANA BEACH — Still good mixed bag fishing on the beaches, reported Blue Water. Decent numbers of corbina were reported to go with barred perch, yellowfin and spotfin croaker, leopard sharks and sargo. The river and lagoon mouths have been the better spots. The halibut bite has also been improving at the lagoon mouths. It’s been a lot of shorts but there are some legal fish in the mix. Flash Minnows, Krocodiles and cut anchovy have been the top offerings.


— Compiled by Gundy Gunderson 


* * *

We hope you enjoyed this article on our no-charge website wonews.com. Of course, this site contains only a small fraction of the stories that Western Outdoor Publications produces each week in its two northern and southern editions and its special supplements. You can subscribe to the print issue that is mailed weekly and includes the easy flip-page full-color digital issues, or you can purchase a digital only subscription. Click here to see the choice.


Weather played a big part whether you caught fish or not
With the coolest water on the coast, the halibut bite was very good this week, reported Hook, Line and Sinker in Santa Barbara. The fish were hanging right outside the breakers. No big fish, but good numbers. The sizes have ranged from 18 to 26 inches. Smelt and grunion-pattern Flash Minnows and 3- and 4-inch big Hammer swimbaits have been tops. Good catches were reported from Goleta, East Beach, Grave­yards and the sand spit.

MALIBU — Good catches on all fronts, reported Wylie’s. Corbina anglers are scoring fish along Malibu and Venice beaches. The fish are taking sand crabs and orienting on the plentiful spots along the beach. Anglers fishing the rocky beaches reported good mixed-bag catches. Calico bass, sand bass, yellowfin croaker, sargo and leopard sharks and small perch have been active in the shallows. A variety of natural baits are working with frozen anchovy being tops this week.


REDONDO BEACH — The corbina fishing was phenomenal along this stretch, reported Just Fishing. A reliable shop regular reported over 20 fish in a day taking fish on the morning and afternoon tides. The sand crabs are thick and the fish are just stacked along this stretch. Good catches were reported from Venice to Torrance beaches. The influx of hot water down below may be stacking up the fish in the relatively cooler water. The long rodders have been scoring some chunky yellowfin croaker outside the breakers.


SEAL BEACH — A push of hot water put the kibosh on the bite this week, reported Big Fish. With temperatures as high as 78 degrees, the surf species slid out into deeper water. The best catches were a mix of spotfin and yellowfin croakers caught off the ends of the jetties and off the Belmont and Seal Beach piers. Fresh-shucked mussel and lugworms were the top baits.


NEWPORT BEACH — The coolest water was out on the end of the peninsula and that is where the corbina were biting, reported Ketcham Tackle. Sand crabs have been a top bait and screening will get you a pocketful real quick. The softshells are always preferred. When the fish refuse the crab, a few guys have been getting bites with bloodworms or ghost shrimp.


DANA POINT — The beach bite slowed in the hot water, reported Hogan’s. The best fishing was outside the breakers, off the piers and jetties. Anglers were scoring a mix of spotfin croaker, yellowfin croaker, small barred perch, leopard sharks, sand bass and white seabass. A long rod and a heavy sinker fished on a double dropper loop rig has been the set-up. The night shark and ray bite has been good at Doheny.


OCEANSIDE — Tough go for corbina anglers this week, reported Pacific Coast. A big influx of hot water with some spots as high as 80 degrees really killed the bite in the breakers. Most catches were made off the piers and jetties or with the long rod on the beaches. The croaker bite was best in the deeper water. Anglers soaking mussel, lugworms or Gulp! baits reported catching a mix of spotfin and yellowfin outside the breakers.


SOLANA BEACH — Hot water was a problem this week, reported Blue Water. Finding the cooler stretches was key. Those cooler stretches made for the best corbina fishing. As the push from the hurricane subsides, temperatures should drop to a more moderate level. The corbina fishing has been excellent to this point. The best bet this week was the croaker bite outside the surfline.


— Compiled by Gundy Gunderson


* * *

We hope you enjoyed this article on our no-charge website wonews.com. Of course, this site contains only a small fraction of the stories that Western Outdoor Publications produces each week in its two northern and southern editions and its special supplements. You can subscribe to the print issue that is mailed weekly and includes the easy flip-page full-color digital issues, or you can purchase a digital only subscription. Click here to see the choice.


Good week for halibut and corbina
With the grunion run this week, the halibut bite took center stage again, reported Hook, Line and Sinker in Santa Barbara. Good catches were reported from several beaches including Goleta, East Beach, Stearns and Santa Clause Lane. Best baits have been grunion or anchovy-pattern Flash Minnows and Ring Hammer swimbaits. The fish have ranged to 28 inches. The sandbar kicked out a 24-inch fish on a smelt-pattern swimbait. The harbor mouth has also been holding lots of sand bass. Working a swimbait on and off the bottom has been the ticket. The bite in the rocks continues to be good for a mix of cabezon, calico bass, johnnie bass and a few juvenile white seabass. Squid and squid-tipped swimbaits have been the top baits. Mackerel and a few halibut have been showing off the Goleta Pier.

MALIBU — Big fish of the week was an 8-foot thresher shark caught and released off Malibu, reported Wylie’s. The angler was soaking squid for smaller sharks and rays. The weekend grunion run perked up the halibut bite. No big fish but good numbers in the surf zone. Small Krocodiles, anchovy and glow-pattern swimbaits and hard jerkbaits have been working well. A shop regular checked in a 5-pound-plus sheephead, also taken off Malibu on squid. The bite on the reefed beaches has been good for a mix of calico bass, yellowfin croaker, sargo, grass rockfish and smaller white seabass. Squid, shrimp and mussel have all been good bait choices. The sharks and rays have been active in the warming waters as have the corbina.


REDONDO BEACH — The corbina bite was very good again this week, reported Just Fishing. Anglers were getting bites on fish ranging up to 4 pounds — most of the fish have been ranging from 1 to 3 pounds. The sand crabs are thick on the beaches. A screen will help find the best baits and incoming high tides have been best. Several striped bass were also reported taken this week. Spoons, hard jerkbaits and cut anchovy all took fish. The halibut bite has also been decent. Not a lot of bites but most bites are quality. A few smaller yellowtail and bonito have been splashing around the harbor.


SEAL BEACH — Corbina anglers posted good numbers this week, reported Big Fish. Sand crabs and fish have been spotted from Huntington Pier to Sunset Beach. Soft shells and mid-sized nuggets have been the best baits. Ghost shrimp and lugworms have also been working. The 1- to 2-pound models have been biting best but there are some tankers in the mix like last week’s 7 pounder. On the back of the grunion run the halibut bite was good this week. White lures were hot: Flash Minnows, X-Raps and and Zoom Flukes. The stretch from Cherry Beach to 72nd Place where the grunion ran strong has been best. Float tubers and shore hoppers are knocking the bay bass in Alimitos Bay. Reebs and swimbaits are getting bites.


NEWPORT BEACH — The worm bite has been good along the street jetties, reported Ketcham Tackle. Anglers soaking bloodworms or lugworms are scoring spotfin croaker, yellowfin croaker, sand bass, sargo, and the occasional white seabass. The fish are hanging at the base of the jetty rock. The halibut bite kicked up a notch wit the grunion run. Catches were reported at River Jetties, the street jetties, the piers and the harbor mouth. White Flash Minnows or Berkley Jerk Shads fished on a drop-shot have been the best presentations. The fish at the harbor mouth have been coming from the jetty rocks on frozen anchovy. Anglers are seeing corbina in good numbers but the bite slowed this past week.


DANA POINT — Cool, overcast weather put a damper on the bite this week, reported Hogan’s. The water temp dropped. The corbina were cruising but not biting. A weekend swell did not help matters either. Look for the bite to quickly bounce back with improved weather. The best bet was the lugworm bite in and around the harbor, off Doheny and below the San Clemente Pier. Anglers soaking the worm reported taking a mix of yellowfin croaker, spotfin croaker, sand bass, white seabass, small perch and leopard sharks. The night bite for big bat rays has been good off Beach Road. A big chunk of squid fished on the evening incoming tide has been getting bites. Mackerel have been splashing around the San Clemente Pier.


OCEANSIDE — A slight water roll over and a big swell knocked down the bite late in the week, reported Pacific Coast. Prior, however, the bite had been very good. Three 5-pound-class corbina were checked into the shop taken from Oceanside to South Carlsbad. The crabs are thick and the quality fish on the feed bag. Look for the bite to bounce back with better conditions. The cooler water brought in an 11-pound striped bass, which was landed by a junior angler on a frozen anchovy. The best stretch for a legal halibut has been Torrey Pines. The grunion runs were blunted by the cooler water. Best catch in the lagoons was a legal white seabass. The fish ate a live anchovy brought from the harbor. The bay bass were also taking small plastics in the lagoons and harbor.


SOLANA BEACH — The corbina bite slowed with some funky, cooler water, according to Blue Water. The bite had been very good prior. Screening for soft shells and nuggets has been worth the effort. The croaker bite has been good at the lagoon mouths, in the lagoons and on the beaches. Table Top has kicked out some big spotfin. Bloodworms, lugworms, mussel and ghost shrimp have been the top baits. Orangemouth corvina have been showing in the evenings off Dog Beach. Some legal halibut and the occasional striped bass have also been reported. Swimbaits have been tops.


Compiled by Gundy Gunderson


* * *

We hope you enjoyed this article on our no-charge website wonews.com. Of course, this site contains only a small fraction of the stories that Western Outdoor Publications produces each week in its two northern and southern editions and its special supplements. You can subscribe to the print issue that is mailed weekly and includes the easy flip-page full-color digital issues, or you can purchase a digital only subscription. Click here to see the choice.


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