Report updated 9/7/20

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     Both surf fishing and the water temperature have been up and down over the past three weeks.  Early season storms originating in the Aleutian Islands produced winds that whipped up the seas and turned over the water.   Some of this event can be contributed to the lack of tropical storms and hurricanes this season, from the South.  But that’s all about to change!

Next week we are looking for a new series of swells originating for huge storms now pushing north from Antartica.  Look for the water to warm over the next three weeks and surf fish to settle back into feeding…and biting mode!

One last thing:  You’ll find that many surf fish will begin to eat less sand crabs and more shrimp, mussel and clam this time of year.  Change your bait accordingly to catch the biggest fish.  Halibut are again on the spawn this time of year and you’ll find them adjacent to just about any structure.  Slack tide periods are the best times to fish for halibut using Lucky Craft Flash Minnows, Rapalla XRap 12, Krocokiles and Kastmasters.

     Santa Barbara…Halibut have been the stars up here in SB.  Goleta Beach, Sand Spit and Graveyards have all been kicking out legal fish.  Best baits have been salted anchovy, Lucky Craft Flash Minnows and MC Swimbaits.  Perch fishing has been good for fish up to 13″.  Anglers have been using Gulp! and lugworms.  Shark fishing here continues to kick out some leopard sharks, batts and rays.  Cut squid after dark has been the trick.  If you’re looking for a fish report, bait and good advice…visit Tiffany at Hook, Line and Sinker on upper State Street in SB.

     Ventura…Again, Ventura has been quiet.  There’s either really good fishing going on there and anglers are tight-lipped or it’s slow.

The water has turned over in Ventura County and much of the earlier glimmer of  big corbina has faded.  For Oxnard, Ventura and Carpinteria the chances are still good that a series of south swells will push water and mature corbina north.  We’ll just have to wait and see what this month brings.

     Malibu, Santa Monica and the South BayPerch fishing from Pt. Mugu to Zuma has been good for the past three weeks with a lot of bigger buttermouth, pile and barred surfperch being caught on mussel.  Corbina fishing is hit and miss here with some good reports of barred and walleye surfperch being caught at Leo Carrillo and Matador Beaches.  Along Broad Beach a few, almost legal size, white seabass were caught using Lucky Craft Flash Minnows, just this week.  I can’t imagine how many legals might be caught if they would reopen Little and Big Dune!

     Orange CountyHuntington, Newport and San Clemente have slowed a bit with Crystal Cove being one of the bright spots for corbina and perch.  

Huntington’s Bolsa Chica and Cliffs at Goldenwest Street have been some of the better spots for patient anglers.  Smaller spotfin and corbina have been in the mix.   Newport Jetties has had a few corbina but the rocks have really been kicking out some nice 12″-13″ barred surfperch there.

     San Diego...Surf Fish Catch of The Year

So this is how my San Diego Report starts out…A friend called me last week and asked my advice on where to surf fish while he and his family were on vacation in San Diego.  Once there, my buddy Jim contacted guide and internet surf fishing reporter Nick Heid.  Nick took him to the beach near La Jolla for an evening session of surf angling.  At the beach they cast out two long rods with cut bait for sharks and placed then in sand spikes.  While those baits were soaking they used light-line rods to catch a nice spotfin, a couple of smaller corbina and a few palm-sized barred perch.  While taking a fish off the hook Nick looked back and spotted one of the shark rods bent in half.  Jim ran back to fight the fish.

Sharks are hard fighters and Jim was on that fish for some time until it finally came to shore and both Nick and Jim’s son Cameron ran into the water and pick the fish up by it’s tail.  By the time they had made it back to shore all three anglers chins were dragging on the ground in amazement.  53lbs and 57″…a giant yellowtail!  (Hello, Alijos Rocks!)

Congratulations Jim on a once-in-a-lifetime Catch!

Read all about the catch by checking out Nick’s site:

What to look for this Month:

Synopsis: Thankfully, the wind has finally diminished from the north-west and soon the water temps will begin to recover.  Look for swells, beginning this week to build from the south and bring better fishing, with warm and clear water pushed from the south.

 Tides:   Very little tidal movement for the next week, then three weeks of great tides, to take us into October.  Halibut fishing may be very good for the next seven days due to the small changes in tide.  TIP: On beaches that have been dredged, such as Santa Monica to Palos Verdes, Long Beach, Huntington, Newport Beach, Pacific Beach, etc. I’d plan to fish two hours before to two hours after high tide.  On undredged beaches…the high tides may be good but you might find your best fishing from 1 hour after low up toward high tide.

 Water Temps: South 70, North 59.  Wide temp. swing that will even out and begin to warm over the next three weeks.

 Swell: Surf builds form the south over the next three weeks from storms near Antartica and New Zealand.  Look for moderate storm impulses from the south to bring warm clear water north.  Very few tropical storms or hurricanes have been generated so far but we still have two more months for them to pick up.

Be sure to regularly check to see all the hurricanes and swells coming from South to North…these are the swells that will send warm clear water and corbina our way!

 Winds: Slight chance of Santa Ana Winds next week followed by light morning winds and fog, with stronger 10 – 15 knot winds from the west in the afternoons.


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       Grunion Runs: Over for the year :(