It’s now July 2023, and as predicted, this is proving to be one of the hottest years for surf fishing in California!
After the heavy winter rain we saw a massive influx of Striped Bass in the surf zone. Although the hottest bite seems to be over now, we still see Striped Bass caught more frequently than in previous years, now from San Diego all the way up past San Fransisco Bay. While some spots seem to be cooling off, other spots continue to produce wide-open bites. And while some of us are concerned about the ecological implications of a non-native invasion, others are enjoying the best Striped Bass Fishing the California Surf has ever seen! Have at 'em guys!
Here are some Striped Bass our members caught during April-June 2023.
The succession of White Sea Bass populations also makes us smile 😃 Some anglers have reported catching upwards of 200 short White Sea Bass. We hope these native beauties are all being handled gently and kept in good shape. Let them grow into legal keeper size for the future.
We encourage our members to consider this #KEEPFISHINTHEWATER initiative. If you are going to release a fish, don't take it out of the water. Photograph the fish right there in the water, pop the hook out, and watch it swim off. We believe this will help increase fish survival rates, and promote fish populations. Because if you drag a fish up on the beach, it is very probable that the fish will be injured more than if it is kept in the water. So what do ya say? Let's go! #KEEPFISHINTHEWATER Save and share this meme, and please practice #KFITW
Also, please consider purchasing a Catch & Release Fishing Net.
On the Halibut hunt, many of our members are going out to target the flatties, and come back with good reports! Guys who are new to Halibut fishing are coming home with pictures of their first. Experienced halibut fishing addicts are reporting way more quantity and larger halibut than we have ever seen in recent years. If you haven’t discovered halibut surf fishing, this may be a great year to get your toes wet! You can catch halibut in as little as 12" of water. They will eat Jerkbaits in clean water, and when the water is too dirty for a Jerkbait, then you can use Texas Rig Swimbaits to slide through the loose kelp and eelgrass.
Surf Perch fishing has been intermittently explosive in Santa Barbara and Ventura over the second quarter. But, devastatingly slow in South County San Luis Obispo. Some theorize that the recent influx of striped bass pouring out of San Luis estuaries has displaced the Barred Surf Perch from Pismo/Oceano and pushed them south of point conception in droves. Or maybe they have been hiding at Guadalupe where we cannot access them because the road got washed out during the winter rains. While perch fishing reports have been relatively disappointing up in south county San Luis Obispo, we hope that this will turn around soon. Hopefully this summer Oceano will redeem itself. In fact, there have been a few recent reports which suggest that maybe Oceano is on the rebound! Please get out there and let us know how it goes! Post your perch fishing reports in California Surf Fishing (CSF) group on Facebook. Be sure to state your county and the conditions. Thank you for your fishing reports!
Now for some more, and interesting member catches during this second quarter of 2023!
I think this deserves special acknowledgment. Local legend Mike de Leon caught his new personal best 17" Barred Surf Perch May 8, 2023, on a Battlestar 115 Jerkbait. Congratulations Mike de Leon! Keep haunting that beach buddy.
Jason Hill broke the internet with this 4 Foot White Sea Bass he caught on a 4.8" White Keitech with Battlestar 3/8oz XLS Weighted Swimbait Hook. Congratulations Jason!
Felix Ponce posted this photo and then dropped the mic. Apparently, he took his daughter's boyfriend surf fishing for the first time ever, and he landed this 42" Striped Bass! On a Sandcrab! Wow!
One of the most unexpected catches this quarter, Chris Smith enjoyed this surprise catch while fishing the central coast with a Battlestar 115 Jerkbait. We believe it may be a Coho Salmon.
This California Surf Fishing (CSF) update wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the Red Tide which is currently ravaging wildlife on Southern California beaches this Spring/Summer 2023. With upwards of 1000 seals, dolphins, and whales washing up on the beaches in Orange County, Los Angeles, Ventura, and Santa Barbara either dead or sick, this is considered the most intense red tide ever recorded. Please DO NOT eat any shellfish harvested from the shoreline at this time of year! It is TOXIC! Learn more about the Red Tide.
CSF MERCH ON SALE!
California Surf Fishing (CSF) Merch is offered ON SALE with FREE SHIPPING through July 9th, 2023! Score a sweet T-Shirt, Long Sleeve Shirt, Performance Fishing Jersey, Hooded Pull Over, or Hooded Zip-Up Sweatshirt, and enjoy free shipping on your entire order. Just use code "CSFJULY" at checkout.
CA SURF FISHING EVENTS
So what kind of events are taking place in the California Surf Fishing Community?
MORE THAN FISHING just finished a big 2023 Catch & Release Surf Fishing Tournament. The results are in!
Biggest Striped Bass Winner
1st Place: @thisiserictaylor
2nd Place: @die.hard.fishing
3rd Place: David Modena
Biggest Surfperch Winner
1st Place: David Modena
2nd Place: Pat Der
3rd Place: Nino Magalong
Thank you all to those who participated hope to see you next year!
Huge shoutout to all of our Sponsors and Vendors thanks much for your contributions and continuous support! @kinetic_realestate @malone_auto_racks @visually.art.fishing @frisco_fishing_and_crab_snares @poppaspopcorn @officialfishermanslife @calsma_official @nor.cal.kat @pikiemike @_crabaholic_ @pitbulltackle @ncgasa @pacificbeachcoalition @cottoncrustacean @jandhtackle @calicrabfishing @torpedo_crab_snares
And to our Judges and volunteers, I can’t thank you enough for your dedication and commitment to the event without you all this event would not be possible. @michaelhian @dannywhodannywoo @tins_25 @derek.hung.92 @cjay_crisostomo @alexandriaalou
NEXT UP, More Than Fishing will be hosting the 2023 VIRTUAL SURF PERCH CHAMPIONSHIP. This is a team event. So find a partner and save the date!
If you are hosting any kind of Surf Fishing Event in CA, please send us all the details so we can help announce it for you!
Perch Pouch, NOW SHIPPING!
The Hook2Cook Perch Pouch is an original design to help surf perch fishermen keep their catch fresh and clean while they fish and allow for more time in the hot spot to catch more fish.
New from Sierra Slammers, Custom Baits!
I gotta say, I just love these new 2.8" S.S. Minnow PT - Small Swimbaits from Sierra Slammers! Perfect for basically any species in the surf, from Barred Surf Perch and Striped Bass to Halibut and Calico Bass. I'm especially excited to see what our SPOTTED BAY BASS fishermen catch with them! The colors tho. That's why, I gotta have 1 pack of each color.
Also, new from Sierra Slammers! For Barred Surf Perch. Recently, I've noticed how similar Barred Surf Perch fishing is to Trout fishing. They have a lot in common. Long limber rods, small baits, sunrise/sunset bites, endless walking natural shorelines searching for the school. For the BIG ONE! So it's no surprise to me that the best maker of custom trout baits is also now producing some of the best surf perch baits! These T.C. Crickets bring something new to the table.
T.C. Cricket is only 1.25" long. So the first thing you'll notice is, these baits are really small! This is great for perch fishing.
My favorite thing about these baits is that there is no tail. When used on a Carolina rig with a #8 Owner EBI hook, the hook sticks right out the back of the bait. Anyone who has been perch fishing will notice that perch always tear the tail off of soft plastics. They bite that last little tip of the bait, every time! So these little T.C. Crickets make a lot of sense.
First of all, when they bite the back of this bait, they get the hook! And also, since the bait is so small, they are more likely to suck up the whole thing.
At the same time, they have tons of action, come in a variety of perchy colors, and drive the perch nuts! Since these baits are so small, you've got to use smaller hooks. I recommend the Owner EBI #8 hooks. Go get em!
COMING SOON! Battlestar 5” Rib Baits!
We needed a swimbait that is MORE WEEDLESS!
We needed a swimbait that gets BETTER HOOKSETS!
Here it is! The Battlestar 5" Rib Bait features an original Rib-Through-Groove® design which means you can bury the hook tip under a couple of ribs inside the groove. Your hook tip will stay secured in the groove and protected from loose weeds and debris by the rib located directly in front of it. This Rib-Through-Groove® design is replicated on the bottom of the bait as well, so you can easily twist the bait on the spring bait keeper 180 degrees, then re-insert the hook to use the second groove. We also added a bulge where the hook penetrates the tail, to add some integrity so the tail won't get broken off easily. The texture of this plastic is... perfect. Soft enough to allow maximum action and hooksets, while firm enough so the ribs can endure until they are bit by a fish. Battlestar 5" ribbed swimbait is designed specifically for use with our 5/0 Battlestar XLS Weighted Swimbait Hook. Tag your catches on Instagram @BattlestarTackle #BattlestarTackle Ask your local tackle shop for Battlestar Tackle!
Check out this YouTube video by Hook2Cook
Check out this YouTube video by Mikes Tackle Box
Check out this YouTube video by TheyAllBite
Check out this new release from Vince Goes Fishing
FOLLOW CSF ON INSTAGRAM
Final thoughts... We all hope that the Red-Tide will clear up soon so we can enjoy some more of this hot fishing action before winter. But in any event, this year is proving to be a record year of catching for California Surf Fishing! Get out there and catch some of these rogue Striped Bass. A White Sea Bass. Go catch your first Halibut from shore, and learn to fish the Texas Rig Swimbait! And please, someone show us a new world record Barred Surf Perch! Let's go!
We've been kicking the idea around for a long time.. I’d like to start podcasting! To interview CSF members, maybe once or twice per month. So we can all hear each other's stories and get to know each other better. We can meet via video chat and I'll record the call, then I'll upload it to the California Surf Fishing (CSF) YouTube channel. If you are interested in being interviewed for the podcast please contact me.
That's all for this quarterly CSF Update! Thanks for reading. Fish Safe! Fish Legal! Fish Hard!
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