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California Gold Perch Fishing, Dedicated to Huell Howser

I moved to San Luis Obispo in March 2022. I had come from Santa Barbara and was thoroughly addicted to Halibut fishing. Halibut fishing involves a lot of bycatch including White Sea Bass, Rock Fish, Calico Bass, Angel Shark, and more. The last thing on my mind was Barred Surf Perch. But when I arrived in SLO, I soon learned that Barred Surf Perch is a main game to focus on. At first, I was disappointed to trade Halibut fishing on beautiful rocky, protected beaches and a large variety of large toothy monsters, for Perch fishing on purely sandy west-facing beaches with big waves and wind where I was almost guaranteed to catch nothing other than perch, a relatively small species. Well, it took a little experience for me to learn that Perch fishing in SLO is actually really fun! First of all the perch here get big. There are massive schools of Barred Surf Perch in the 12"-16" range. When you find that school, the bite is wide open. And these fish hard! Inch for inch, Perch fight far harder than halibut or rockfish. They have incredible stamina and just never stop shaking their head. They have tall bodies that give them an advantage when fighting horizontally. They are voracious feeders and will jump on anything that gets near them, you just gotta find them. They are also really hard to hook, and hard to keep pinned! They can pop off the hook really easily, which adds an element of challenge and fun.. that mantra comes back again and again; "stay on, stay on, stay on... please stay on!" That's when I know I'm really having fun! Also, these fish are so colorful and beautiful. They are abundant! Clean! And Delicious! So I soon realized that I had a great target for wild foraging. Our barred surf perch fishery on the sandy beaches here from Cayucos sown to Guadalupe are truly a great example of California Gold, which is why I dedicate this video to the late, great, and one of my favorite TV personalities of all time; Huell Howser.


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