Happy New Year! Iím back from California. Going from 50 degree weather to near zero this morning in Grand Junction was a bit of shock to the system. Still itís good to be home, even though itís back to work. While I wonít be fishing this weekend, the Sportsmanís Expo this weekend is a close second and Iíll be there Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, most of the time you will find me at the Fish Explorer booth. Please drop by as Iíd love to visit and talk fishing.
Nine days in California with a 10-day fishing permit. While I didnít fish all of them, seven out of nine isnít all bad. The last three days were very good, not so good, and a satisfy end to the trip in that order.
Wednesdayís weather report was for rain and high winds abating in the afternoon. As low tide was around 11 that day, I opted to sleep in and figured Iíd fish the incoming time, weather permitting. I woke to a rainy day, but little wind rather wishing Iíd headed out at daybreak. After breakfast, we headed up north and decided to visit Point Dume State Beach just south of Zuma. The tide had turned and I located a ďholeĒ right off. It was a spot where the water was about 12 inches deeper than surrounding beach. Little differences like that often make a big difference to the fish. The fish were in, and it was a fish or two nearly every cast. However, the winds showed and despite the great bite I finally gave up fighting heavy surf combined with high inshore winds. The species were barred and walleyed surf perch.
Thursday I opted to try an outgoing tide at Will Rogers State Beach. Thanks to the prior storm the surf was heavy, but the action was dead. I gave up after three hours and went to breakfast with Sue. We decided to drive to Santa Barbara. A mistake in terms of fishing on two accounts, traffic was heavy which doubled the travel time. When we got there, we discovered the surf was trashed, literally. Run-off from recent rains had muddied it to the point visibility was maybe two inches. Needless to say, fishing was lousy and Thursday was a skunk.
Friday, I headed back to Point Dume with the intent to catch the incoming tide starting around 1:30. As I was rigging around 11:00, a young man from Calgary started asking questions, and ultimately decided to join me for the day. It was a lesson on the importance of tides. From 11 until 2ish I managed exactly one small perch and the half dozen other fishers during the same period managed exactly one bite on bait. Then as the incoming tide gathered strength, the fish came rolling in with it, resulting in a few dozen fish by sunset. My new fishing partner struggled, a combination of having to stay on the beach (no stripping basket) and trying to figure out surf fishing. I had provided him with a couple flies, that he lost and failed to let me know or I would have given him more. At sunset I called it a day, and at his request handed him my Elkhorn 7-wt coupled with a type III shooting head to try. In about three casts he had his first ever surf perch. Nice end the day and my vacation.
Anyway, swing by the booth this weekend and letís swap stories.