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           SURF FISHING REPORT    

 

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Southern California Surf Fishing Report JUNE 2022

The month of May was marked by excellent halibut fishing up and down the coast. Anglers posted good catches in the lagoons, bays and harbors and on the open beaches. Wind was a factor all month. It made angling difficult at times but the wind upwelled cool, nutrient rich, water that attracted hoards of feeding baitfish. A series of grunion runs also bolstered the bite. The better quality fish came from San Diego’s lagoons, bays, harbors and beaches. Look for more good halibut fishing as we move into June.

The barred perch bite benefited from the cooler water. It was limit or near-limit fishing all along the coast. The best quality fish came from Santa Barbara, Oxnard and Ventura beaches. Here the fish are in the spawn with anglers reporting ripe fish. The bite was also good on south bay, Orange County and San Diego beaches. The grade of fish was smaller but the perch bit aggressively. Sandcrabs are showing on beaches all along the coast and there have been lots of corbina with them. Although plenty of fish were spotted, the dip in water temperatures made it tough to get a bite with any consistency.

The bait rich shallows were also inhabited by schools of juvenile white seabass. Anglers reported catches on the beaches but also in the bays, harbors and lagoons. The young fish have been ranging from 18- to 34-inches. Just a few striped bass were reported, taken near Dockweiler Beach. The fish ranged from 6- to 8-pounds and fell for cut anchovy.

The croaker bite also turned the corner with good numbers of yellowfin reported on the beaches and in the bays and harbors. As the month progressed, more and more spotfin croaker were in the catch especially around the full and new moons. The grade of fish is steadily improving with some 4-pound class yellowfin showing and a few spotfin pushing the 5-pound mark. Mission and San Diego bay saw some of the first schools of orangemouth corvina starting to feed on small anchovies balled up under the lights. A few fish to 8-pounds were reported taken at night on the strong, full moon tides.

The sharks and rays were also active in May. The leopard sharks appear to be spawning as big hens and small juveniles have been found in the surfline. Some of the better fish have been in the high, 30-pound class. Some catches of smoothounds were also reported, a fish we haven’t seen a lot of in recent years. Shovelnose and bat rays round out the catch. A handful of thresher sharks were also hooked off the piers.

  SANTA BARBARA— Another solid week of barred perch fishing, reported Hook, Line and Sinker. Anglers posted limits on most beaches. The western beaches saw some quality fish with many in the 1-pound class and the better fish pushing the 2-pound mark. Gaviota and El Capitan both saw good fishing. Other good catches were reported from  Goleta, Mesa, Graveyards, Santa Clause Lane and Silverstrand. Gulp! Sandworms or motor oil grubs fished on a carolina rig have been top artificials. Bloodworms, lugworms, mussel and cut, salted anchovy have been top natural baits. Anglers still report ripe fish. This is the best run of perch fishing this spring. The halibut bite was also strong with stroking new moon tides and another round of grunion runs. Lots of 18- to 25-inch fish with a fair share of kickers to 30-inches. Good catches were reported from Refugio, Goleta, East Beach, the sandbar and Carpinteria. Grunion or sardine pattern Flash Minnows have been a good fish finder on the open beaches. Like pattern swimbaits have been working best in calmer water. A few short and legal white sea bass have also been in the catch. There are some moving stretches of off-colored water. Look for the cleaner stuff. The rocky beaches have been holding a mix of calico bass, sand bass, shallow water rockfish and cabezon. Squid has been the top bait,

MALIBU– Juvenile white seabass ranging from short to 32- inches have been inhabiting the shallow reefs along Malibu. Several fish were reported along Paradise Cove. Some fish have come on grunion or smelt pattern swimbaits others on cut sardine or squid. Chunky yellowfin croaker and bass, both calico and sand have also taken the bait. The halibut bite has been good for numbers but short on legal fish. The grunion runs have drawn in fish but no big kickers. The grunion have perked up the bite on the shallow reefs. Spots like Pescador, Matador, Big Rock and Will Rodgers have been kicking out a mix of calico bass, sand bass, yellowfin croaker, barred perch, leopards sharks and a few mostly short white seabass. Cut squid and cut sardine have been the top baits. The sharks have been active on most beaches. Anglers soaking squid or a strip of mackerel have been scoring leopard sharks, shovelnose and bat rays. The best barred perch fishing has been below Mugu wher anglers are finding limits of perch to 1 ¼ -pounds.

  REDONDO BEACH– A handful of striped bass were reported taken near Dockweiler on cut anchovy, reported Just Fishing. Strong new moon tides, abundant bait and another grunion run bolstered the bite. The fish ranged from 6- to 8-pounds. Anglers have been scoring halibut along the same stretch. The bite has been good for numbers but the legals have been a bit sparse. If you put your time in, however, you will get a shot at a legal. The stretch near the Hermosa Pier and Torrance Beach have been other good spots. A few legals were also reported taken in King Harbor on cut sardine or small swimbaits. A few yellowfin croaker and bass have also been in the mix. The rock hoppers off PV are still finding good numbers of short and legal white seabass inside the kelp edges and along the shallow reefs. Blacksmith pattern swimbaits fished early and late have been the ticket. Lots of leopard sharks near Dockweiler.

SEAL BEACH– With LA Harbor jugged with bait, the halibut bite along Shoreline Drive has been good, according to Big Fish. Another round of grunion runs also served to improve the bite. Plastics were hot with Zoom Flukes and 4-inch Fin-S baits fished on dropshot rigs or with a dartheads working well. Cut sardine and live smelt were also getting bites. A 12-pound fish was taken at Cherry Beach on cut sardine. The Bolsa Chica Inlet and Huntington Cliffs have also kicked out a few legal fish. Wind and a few stretches of streaky, off colored water were limiting factors. The barred perch bite was good along Bolsa Chica and Huntington Beach. Here most anglers posted a limit of fish up to 1-pound with a few better kickers to 1 ¼ -pounds. The grub bite has been good with motor oil and clear/red flake colors getting bites. Lugworms, mussel and emerging sand carbs have also been strong baits. There are good numbers of corbina showing but cooler water temps had them off the bite.

NEWPORT BEACH– A late spring barred perch bite was a best bet this week, according to Ketcham Tackle. Most anglers posted a limit of smaller 4- to 5-inch fish but there were a fair share of kickers to 1 ½ pounds. A lot of the better fish have been taken along structure like pier piling, jetty or reef. Good catches were reported from Newland, River Jetties, the street jetties and above the Wedge. Blood worms and mussel have been top baits. The sandcrabs are starting to show and a nugget crab will also get a bite. There have been good numbers of corbina but cool water has the early fish a bit shy. The long rodders have been scoring a mix of croakers at River Jetties and the street jetties. Pier anglers have also been posting croaker catches. Most of the fish are yellowfin but more spotfin are showing by the day. Bloodworms, and mussel have been top baits. A ghost shrimp might better your chances at a spotfin. The halibut bite on the open beaches has been good for numbers but the catch has lacked any size. Most legal fish have ranged to 25-inches. A few better models were taken at the harbor mouth on live smelt. The bay bass bite has been good with strong new moon tides and warming bay waters. Small swimbaits have been tough to beat.

DANA POINT—  Despite some wind, south Laguna kicked out more limit-style, barred perch catches, according to Hogan’s. Strands and Salt Creek beaches continue to hold good numbers of barred perch. The fish have ranged from 4- to 6-inches with a few better kickers to 1 ½ pounds. The grub bite has been good with motor oil and root beer colors producing. With lots of sandcrabs emerging, a nugget crab will also get a bite. Lugworms, mussel and cut anchovy is also working. There have been a lot of corbina on these beaches. The fish are skittish but should settle in and bite as the water warms. The perch bite has been good on Capo Bay beaches but the fish have been smaller. Here, grubs and Gulp! Sandworms should get you a limit. The better bet in Capo Bay has been the croaker bite. Good numbers of yellowfin and spotfin have been showing in and around the harbor, off Doheny, the San Clemente Pier and Old Man’s. The yellowfin have been ranging from 1- to 3-pounds. Most of the spotfin have been ranging from 2- to 3-pounds with a few kickers to 4-pounds. Bloodworm, mussel and cut shrimp have been top baits. More and more white seabass both short and legal have been showing in the shallows off Cotton’s Point. The fish will take a dark pattern swimbait fished at first light. There have been a few legal halibut taken in and around the harbor on cut sardine or anchovy. The beach bite has been mostly smalls.

  OCEANSIDE— Carlsbad Lagoon was a hot spot this week kicking out halibut , bass, croakers and sharks, according to Pacific Coast. The halibut bite was best although it was tough to keep the smaller males off. If you hooked a better hen, it was probably a double digit fish. Live smelt or sardine was the best way to get a legal fish. Other species were also active including bass and croakers. The beach bite also improved with lots of bait feeding in the shallows outside the breakers. Many more bites were reported. A few 30-inch class fish were taken off Ponto on Flash Minnows. The Del Mar river mouth also kicked out a few legal fish. The long rodders made more croaker catches below the harbor and off the Oceanstde Pier. Lugworms, bloodworms and mussel have been taking a mix of 2- to 3-pound yellowfin and spotfin to 4-pounds. Corbina anglers are looking at a lot of fish off south Carlsbad State Beach. The sandcrabs are showing well but the early fish are skittish. The sandcrabs will get you a limit of smaller barred perch. A 6-pound orangemouth was taken off dog beach on a swimbait.

SOLANA BEACH— The barred perch are mounted up on Mission Beach. Anglers report easy limits of 4- to 5-inch fish with a few better kickers to 1 ¼ -pounds. Several baits are working including cut anchovy, lugworms, bloodworms, mussel, shrimp and sandcrabs. Grubs and Gulp! Sandworms are also getting bites. There are good spots of sandcrabs and with them corbina. The smaller fish may bite but the better models have lockjaw. Look for this to change with warming water. The best halibut action has been inside Mission and San Diego bays but the bite on the beach has been improving with so much bait around. Another round of grunion runs will only make things better. Schools of orangemouth corvina have been feeding under the lights in both bays. Small topwater plugs have been getting bites.

Thank you Dan, Jacob, Jeff, John and Wallace for the great photos!

What To Look For This Month

A New Zealand storm with thirty-foot seas will be sending swells (and warm water) to our shores around the 8th of June

Synopsis:

We are still struggling to get out of the grips of Spring winds, upwelling and slow fishing.  West winds and swells continue to bring cool water down the coast.  June traditionally is the beginning of the summer south swells.  Over the last week the first hurricane of 2022 came to life but “Agatha” ran out of steam and headed back to the Mexican coast.

With that said, the good news is that a storm that rotated in the South Pacific will be sending us swells beginning June 8th-12th.  This surge will help to push warm clear water up the coast.  After that event we would hope that the hurricane machine near Vera Cruz Mexico will ramp up and begin to send storms our way.

June is often calm in the morning with a strong marine layer, followed by winds and clear skies in the afternoon.  Over the years I’ve found June mornings when a low tide is moving to a high tide seem best for corbina.   Alternatively, an afternoon/evening bite for spotfin always seems best around high tide.

When fishing the morning incoming for corbina I’ll rig Carolina style with a 4lb 20″ fluoro leader.  After hunting up some soft-shell sand crabs I often walk the beach looking for fish or promising areas to cast.  Covering as much territory as possible is important.

When fishing the evening high tide for spotfin I will also rig up Carolina style but use a 6lb fluoro leader.  Spotfin can not resist ghost shrimp, bloodworms or a large soft-shell sand crab.

Both Corbina and Spotfin will feed very near shore inside the inshore trough.  This trough is less than 30 feet off shore and holds big fish who fight the current to feed.  Cast across these troughs and slowly pull your bait/sinker into them.  Once the sinker “binds” on the inside sand wall stop and let your bait move in the trough’s current.  This is where you’ll find the big fish.

Note About Grunion Runs:

Observation Months: March, April, May, June  Collection Months: July and August (Limit 30)

June 2022 (observation only)

  • 6/1 Wed 10:35 pm – 12:35 am
  • 6/2 Thu 11:10 pm – 1:10 am
  • 6/14 Tue 9:35 pm – 11:35 pm
  • 6/15 Wed 10:25 pm – 12:25 am
  • 6/16 Thu 11:15 pm – 1:15 am
  • 6/17 Fri 12:10 am – 2:10 am*
  • 6/29 Wed 9:50 pm – 11:50 pm
  • 6/30 Thu 10:25 pm – 12:25 am

TIP:  Watch these days/time for your best halibut fishing periods.  Fish 2 days before, up-to 7 days after a grunion run to target halibut.  Use the Carolina rig with a sardine/anchovy/smelt/grunion.  For lures, use a Krocodile/Kastmaster/Lucky Craft/Rapalla XRap.  Fishing near both peak high and peak low tide will get you the most bites. Get into the practice of asking the lifeguard/Warden where the fish came ashore…and fish there!

Tides:  June is another month with great tides.  Look for some really large tide changes during the full moon (6/14) and the new moon (6/28).  June has the longest sunlight day of the year so use this time to explore at low tide and mark spots to fish when the tide returns and covers holes, ditches and troughs.  Halibut should be very active during these periods as they also coinside with grunion runs.  Be sure to ask the lifeguard if they know where the grunion came ashore.  This is where I’d fish first!

Water Temps: South 66, North 62 (warmer)    Winds from the SW and the coastal eddy should moderate water temps this month.  As we begin to experience more hurricanes in Mexico and the South Pacific water temps are bound to rise.  By looking at the temperture chart below you can see the water temps along Baja are lower than average for this year.  Normally, the blue region would now be in northern Baja at this time of year:

Winds: Southwest morning winds and west afternoon winds are typical in June.  The coastal eddy should set up and be in place every day through June.  Look for light morning winds and 10-15 knot winds in the afternoon from the west.  Don’t be discouraged from fishing late afternoons when you can see whitecaps…these days are some of the best for spotfin when they come in very close at high tide in the evening to feed.

Swell: We’ve already had a weak swell from Australia and a dud of a hurricane (sorry Agatha) but it’s looking up.  We are expecting a moderate south swell from a storm rotating near New Zealand to hit our shore around the 8th of June and last about five days.  This will for sure bring us some much needed warm clear water.  After that the jury is out as no storms are on the horizon.  That of course, can change in a matter of days as the hurricane production near Vera Cruz can produce multiple hurricanes overnight.

  

Surf fishing reports compiled by

Gundy Gunderson and Bill Varney

CARLSBAD SUNSET

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