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Southern California Surf Fishing Report
The California surf saw some great fishing during the month of October. Both great tides and warm water kept the corbina bite going from the South Bay to San Diego. Perch were plentiful with some bigger slabs being caught near rocky areas, along the Malibu Coast and at Jalama Beach.
The biggest surprise may have been the continued swells from the south which keep churning warm water this way. Looking into the future it looks like we may see a couple more cyclones off Mexico…and warm water though the month of November. Corbina and croaker (spotfin/yellowfin) have really been focused on mussel, clams, worms and ghost shrimp. With most sand crabs gone for the winter, now is a trasition time when fish choose to eat different foods. Don’t be surprised next month, when big perch add sidewinder crabs to their list of favorites.
November has traditionally been a very good month with corbina slowing but a big pickup in perch, yellowfin and spotfin croaker. This month try different baits, target halibut near structure at low tide, fish perch in the high tide trough and begin your migration toward jettys and harbor entrances…where big fish will begin to occupy as their winter homes.
Santa Barbara/Ventura…The halibut bite here is really the big story. Fish have been caught from UCSB Campus to the pier at Carpinteria. Lucky Craft Flash Minnows, BattleStar Baits, Krocodiles and white flukes and swimbaits have been working best. Some of the hot spots have been Goleta Beach (just South of the pier), Sandspit (entrance to the harbor), Just south of The Santa Barbara Wharf and along East Beach. Perch fishing has begun to pick up with some really big fish caught on mussel and hard shell sand crabs along Jalama Beach. From the folks at Jalama, I’m told there are thousands of small perch right outside the creek and that 1 1/2″ motoroil grubs are doing the trick. East Beach, Haskels and all on the Carpinteria coast have been kicking out big barred surfperch too.
Los Angeles/South Bay…Corbina fishing here has been crazy in the last two weeks with one angler reporting three nice sized fish on sand crabs in one 2 hour stretch. Hermosa and Manhattan seem to be the hot spot for corbina but I’m sure Torrance (R.A.T. Beach) will heat up as the water cools down. This area is known for great late-season fishing because the water here is protected by Palos Verdes and stays warmer longer. Not many reports of halibut, spotfin or striper but quite a few mid-sized yellowfin croaker in the mix.
Orange County… Dang, OC remains hot. South swells keep pumping warm water north and other than the occassional “too big to surf days” it’s really been consistent. Larger perch are beginning to show at the Huntington Cliffs and Newport Jetties. Yellowfin croaked have flooded the entire OC coast and many anglers are reporting catch and release as many as you wish. A few late season corbina are showing down here with a couple caught on 5″ ribbed and fluke style baits in light gray or white. The hottest spot along the coast here for spotfin has been between Dog Beach and the South Bolsa Chica Jetty (I’d imagine on the jetty too!) Several fish have been taken on 2″ grubs along with a boat load of yellowfin.
San Diego…Has slowed with just a few reports this month. The jetty and beach just south in Carlsbad has been kicking out some palm-sized perch and one big corbina. Many anglers have begun to move inside the bays and have found corvina, buttermouth perch, cabezon, bay bass and halibut. This month we will see the slowing of corbina and a larger influx of small to medium sized walleye and barred surfperch along the beach. One of you best bets now is to stop by Seaforth Landing and pick up ghost shrimp (call first to make sure they are in stock). Fish along almost any rock formation (inside harbor, jetty, etc.) using a very light sliding sinker (1/8th ounce) on the Carolina Rig and a 10lb flourocarbon leader and you’ll have great luck on all the fish mentioned above…Plus, don’t stray away from fishing these same spots at night…because they will produce!
Tip: Try black grubs dipped in hot sauce when fishing the bay at night along docks and near structure. Present them on the carolina rig with a very light sinker and short leader or with a 1/16th ounce leadhead. Hold on and clamp your drag down…big fish bite black at night!
Check out my upcoming article in Fish Taco Chronicles, coming out later this month: Winter Perch Fishing For Slabs
Thank you Robert, Phil, Doug and to all the anglers for their great reports and photos…
PLEASE keep them coming!
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What To Look For This Month
Tropical Storm Pilar is churning and on the march to the northwest. Although it’s winds are only 40-60 knots and not expected to become a hurricane it will send warm water and swells to the California coast over the next 10 days.
Synopsis: November typically places us in the middle of the transition period from hurricanes pushing warm water north then changing to cold storms from Alaska’s Aleutian Islands sending cold air, wind and swells south. In this yearly battle the north always wins out and cool water floods in along the coast.
This year has been a bit different. We are still seeing hurricanes, tropical storms and swells coming from the south late into the year….and considering how much activity is still going near Veracruz Mexico it looks like we may be instore for a few more southern storms before “summer” is finally over.
What’s unusual for this time of year is the formation of “binary interaction” also know by the name of the scientist who discovered it, the Fujiwhara Effect. There are two cyclones that have formed off of the Cabo coast (being pushed together by a low from the north) whose combined winds and surface area will send moderate surf and warm water north toward California. As long as this persists good fishing will continue at the beach and offshore.
Surf fishing reports have reflected this with a continuance of great corbina, perch and croaker fishing.
Grunion Runs Are Over For 2023
Observation Months 2024: March, April, May, June Collection Months 2024: July and August (Limit 30) Halibut often feed near shore before, during and after a run
Temp: 65 south, 61 north (a bit cooler).
Tides: (Don’t forget your CCA Sportfishing Tide Calendar HERE) New moon is October 13th so larger tidal swings will begin on Election Day (Nov. 7) and continue until the 18th. Thanksgiving week through the end of the month has some fantastic tides (Thanksgiving Day looks great!). The full moon, occurring on October 27th provides some awesome plus++ and minus tides that will be good for bait catching (clams, mussel, ghost shrimp) and for fishing spots at minus tides (especially for halibut) that you would not be able to reach any other time of year. Match calm wind/surf days with these radical tides and your sure to have a very productive day at the beach, near jetties and in the bay.
Winds: About one more day of Santa Ana calm winds then we’ll begin to see a change next week with stronger 10-15 mph afternoon winds at the beach. Although winds will generally be calm in the AM as the week progresses a low pressure system, which may bring a bit of rain will increase afternoon and morning onshore wind patterns. November is often very calm so look for the later part of the month to have another Santa Ana event and some very good fishing weather.
Swell: As mentioned above in the “synopsis” section we still have a combination of NW and SW swells. We expected more swell action from the north this month but that has not happened (which is good). One reason for this is because a huge storm that is running down the Alaska, British Columbia and eventually Washington coast is moving so close to shore that the fetch of swells are not making it to California. November often has flat, very calm periods, highlighted with the very last swells from the south and the advent of big winter swells from the north.
Follow Pacific Hurricanse Here: www.eebmike.com
Good luck and good Fishing!
Gundy Gunderson and Bill Varney reporting…
Surf fishing reports compiled by
Gundy Gunderson and Bill Varney
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