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  Report updated 1/20/18     DON’T FORGET to sign up for our surf fishing newsletter below!

   

The beach has been pounded with wind and surf.  But that’s not always bad.  Pick the right tide, wind and match those with the right place and you’ll kill it!  Surf fish this time of year, school up near structure and inside harbors, bays and estuaries.  Concentrate on fishing those areas and you’ll be surprised with what you’ll catch.

JETTY DIAGRAMI like to fish around jetties and always look for the lee-side of the rocks where an eddy forms and fish wait for food.  The same is true for me in the bay.  I look for areas where the water is moving around permanent edges (even if slightly) and fish there.

I also fish lighter gear…1/4th oz sinker, 6lb or 4lb test and a very short leader.  This combination will help you to have less rock snags and catch more and bigger fish.  Bait that seems to work best this time of year are ghost shrimp, lug/bloodworms and lures like Lucky Craft, Rapala, Krocodiles and Kastmasters.

Santa Barbara—Not many reports from Santa Barbara where many of the beaches are off-limits due to bacteria.  It’s always good to avoid fishing water like this, even if you’re just catch and release, because any open cut is susceptible to a very serious staff inspection.  In Ventura a few reports of good barred surfperch fishing.  You can find information about the closures and warnings here:   http://cosb.countyofsb.org/uploadedFiles/phd/EHS/BeachStatus5.12.14.pdf  and a great article about beach staff infections here:  http://www.fishthesurf.com/staph-infections-and-surf-fishing/

Santa Monica and the South Bay—Santa Monica was one of the highlights for surf fishing this last week.  I’m guessing, this area (between the SM pier and Wylies Bait) is so calm that it tends to carry the summer on—even into winter.  The water’s a bit warmer there and has kicked out a couple of nice corbina and an even bigger catch of 12” and 13” barred surfperch.  jettypicLug and Blood worms work great here—and as above, fish around the various pieces of structure you’ll find all along the beach here.

I’ve had several reports from the South Bay from El Segundo to Palos Verdes and it’s really been quiet.  My advice in Hermosa, Manhattan, Torrance and RAT beach is to find structure—pier pilings, rock edges, docks, etc.) and fish near them.  Fish will congregate here for protection and food.

Huntington Beach—Huntington beach still continues to kick out some great yellowfin croaker, perch and the occasional spotfin.  Don’t be surprised to also find a few corbina—and some really big ones—that are still around and will bite the perfect bait.  This time of year sand erodes from the beaches between Huntington and Newport Beach and exposes quite a few rocks and chunks of Hwy. 1 that are great spots to fish.  Huntington cliffs can be one of the best spots for big perch this time of year.

YELLOW_CROAKER_web_pic_2_op_800x507San Diego—Halibut, yellowfin croaker and stripers—what else can you ask for!  San Diego takes the top spot for surf fishing with a very good bite on halibut both in the estuaries and near rock jetties like Ponto and Carlsbad power jetties.  Torrey Pines kicked out both halibut and stripers this month.  Last summer TP had some of the best corbina fishing along the coast—so maybe they’re the beach of the year!  A great tip I received about striper fishing Torrey Pines is to fish the high tide with a Lucky Craft/Rapalla/Kroc/Kastmaster and walk the beach looking for diving birds on bait.  More times than not, you’ll find the fish there.  This time of year anchovy/sardine come very close to shore to school and that’s where the stripers drive them to the surface.  Striper info like this is great advice and can be applied to almost any beach when looking for a hungry striped bass.

Water temps before this big wind were 59-63, about 3-5 degrees above normal for this time of year.  Looks for the winds to die down early next week and the swell to back off.  We expect chest to head high surf most of this week with the wind blowing less each day making next Wednesday and Thursday the two pick days of the week to surf fish.  It looks like wind and rain will be back in to the picture for next weekend—followed by some very good times, moon phase and hopefully good weather and fishing into the first week of February.

Good fishing out there and send me some reports!

See you on the beach,

    Bill

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