4 Days of Fishing

so i was fortunate enough to take a few days off prior to the holidays for my birthday. what to do, what to do...?

well duh! fish!

i hit up san leandro for the first two days for a total of zip, zero, zilch...nada! not even a hit for the first day and a half. weird cuz that's normally a decent spot to just chill and pass the time.

as i was about to pack it up for the day i was able to snag this lil guy:

so the third day i hit up the beaches. walked through sunset, la selva and manresa. quite a bit of walkin and casting for a total of 1 baby:

conditions seemed right, but not much action:

however, this was my first surf perch on this rod EVER! so i was a bit stoked.

after a rough morning walking the beaches...or as rough as that could be while looking at some beautiful seascapes. haha i decided to hit up the santa cruz wharf. not much action there again. started fishing fairly deep without much luck, so i packed up and headed over to the shore. fished there for about 30-45 minutes and got a huge hit that didn't stick. not sure what that was, but man did i want to find out! haven't had a hit like that so close to the shore in a LONG time. :( anyhow, after a few minutes of nothing after that hit i went back to deeper water. again, not much action.

fourth day i decided to hit up capitola pier from early morning on:

again, began at the shore since the last time i was at capitola pier i was able to score a decent sized perch:

not much action at all so i kept moving into deeper water.

first fish of the day:

what a whopper, huh!? thrown back but snagged up by a darn bird as it was swimming down. :(

second fish of the day. another whopper thrown back, but this one survived the birds:

Third fish of the day:

was able to cast somewhat near some kelp on the north side of the pier (long cast) and found this guy. was a decent sized king fish although the pic doesn't really show it. snagged another king after that guy, but was smaller. no pic.

after a while of no hits i decided to hit up the rocks.

it was my first time trying the rocks and had to cross the little creek outlet from the beach so i got my jeans, shoes and socks all wet. hardcore! haha

first cast in:

the bath was well worth it! almost immediately i got a good hit and found this guy at the other end:

another cast and this guys was produced:

got a few other lil guys and then a really nice hit! unfortunately it got snagged on something underwater and i was not able to see what was on the hook. after playing the line for a bit i was able to break free, but no fish. it was getting a bit late and cold since i was all wet, so i decided to start packing it up.

not a bad way to spend a few days off, huh?

ready for the next outing!

Happy Birthday! Thanks for the report and an enjoyable read. One of these days I'll hit the surf....
When you're fishing off those rocks, are you using a hi-lo rig? what baits? Thanks!
thx man.

yeah, used a hi/lo with a 4# torpedo lead. easier to get outta rock snags. 6# circle hooks tied directly to the hi/lo rig, also prevents snags/tangles. used little cuts of store bought shrimp. you can use grass shrimp, pile worms, earth worms, mussels, etc. but it's just easier and more accessible to get store bought shrimp.

i was using my medium power 10' surf rod to bait fish this area, but using that 10' 6" salmon/steel head rod would have probably been nice to catch those nice sized perch. problem there is the lead. i like using a bit heavier weight so that it doesn't wash all over and cause snags. i may give it a shot anyhow. when fishing in rocks snags are just to be expected.

i've been looking at possibly buying some snagless lead. kinda flat and once you reel in they glide up and over debris/cover which could be better for snags. we'll see.
Happy b-day man!

A tip for cold water perchn', retrieve SLOWLEY! That waters cold & the fish are lethargic.
Also, have you tried a Carolina rigged motor oil colored grub? If not you should. ;)

yeah, i was retrieving fairly slow. would do cycles of two or three slow turns and stop for a bit. no go.

however, those perch from the rocks...they were NOT sleepy. they were hitting full force.

had never seen those type of perch before but they pulled nicely.
Nice report! I also hit up San Leandro for a day during the holidays and got absolutely nothing. Were you fishing off the rocks in the marina or at the pier? I'm surprised that you can get a nice barred surfperch in that area, but that's good to know.

Sucks that the Sunset/Manresa beaches didn't produce more; I love hitting that stretch when the swell is down, and there always seems to be nice structure and sand crab beds to check out.

What kind of perch is that in your first Capitola pic and in the last two pics from the Capitola rocks? Never seen those before, nice catch!

I've never fished the rocks near Santa Cruz or Capitola before but am very tempted to try. Looks like you just wandered over near Esplanade Park? Next time I get a chance I'm definitely going to hit up some of the rocks.

Thanks for the report!
Yeah man. San leandro is normally ok for me. I've heard that the king tides are really screwing us up tho.

I also reported on capitola on another thread from yesterday and it was total skunk! Two bites the whole day!

Yesterday it was the rocks way to the south of the store fronts.

No idea what kinda perch they are. Had never caught them before. Tried to look them up but couldn't find them.

If anyone has knowledge on them pls let me know.

I think those are calico surf perch..

http://www.zenflyfishing.com/photos/Och ... er2004.jpg
Yep. That looks to be correct!
Thx man
Happy Birthday.
Thanks for the great post and the nice pics. I've been doing the steelhead thing for the past month and its been a nice change of pace from the salt. That's always another option.