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Four Foot White Seabass in Santa Barbara

If you recognize the spot, please don’t mention it in the comments. Keep it in a private message between you and your fishing buddies. This is our opportunity to create balance and develop friendships based on trust and respect.

It’s been a while since I posted a new video. In fact, I wasn’t fishing for weeks. In late June I got the flu. Not Covid, just the regular old flu. That wiped me out for a couple of weeks, and then I was busy selling my car, picking up a new car, and then I moved, from Ventura to Santa Barbara. I’m super stoked to be here. It’s been a hectic month to say the least. I’m still getting settled in, but as soon as I landed I wasted no time and got back to fishing. I put in quite a few days on the pier in the ongoing pursuit of my first thresher shark. And I managed to get in the surf once too. Caught a short halibut and a nice grass bass.

I got an invite from Austin Lee to go surf fishing Saturday morning at a beach not far from where I just moved. So I said heck ya!

I arrived at 5:15am and line was in the water by 5:30. We fished an incoming tide till about 10:30am, and this is what happened...

Early in the morning, there was A ton of bait in the water. It was fluttering and nervous because something was eating it. I cast my swimbait around the bait for a while but did not get any bites. Decided not to waste too much time on that so I moved south to the spot I wanted to fish.

First fish of the day was a short halibut.

Then Austin arrived and started fishing with me. He got a bite and brought a fish all the way to his toes and then it came off.

After that I felt a tap and my line was tight so I set the hook and reel in a fish. I thought it was a halibut but I should’ve known better because it peeled quite a bit of drag. I landed a short White Seabass.

Austin got another bite but it didn’t hook up. Then Austin foul hooked A huge halibut in the back with a jerk bait. I’m guessing about 27 inches. He got it all the way to the sand and then it popped off and swim away.

After that I felt a tap and Lifted my rod tip and felt pressure so I set the hook and landed a nice 23” halibut. Keeper!

Then the most exciting thing that has ever happened to me in the surf happened....

Austin and I were engaged in some casual conversation. I forget what we were talking about. I began to comment on something Austin said and that’s when I felt a solid single tap just like a big halibut.

I lifted my rod tip to see if the fish was on and my line was taught so yank! I set the hook and Instantly a giant fish lept out of the water. Austin and I both saw this fish jump. It was only 40 feet or so from the shore. and we estimated the fish to be 4 feet long. All we saw was the color white so at first I assumed it was a world record surf halibut, but then it proceeded to rip drag, And rip drag, and rip some more drag, and then rip some more drag... it was headed straight out to sea. It had me all the way down almost to my spool when it finally stopped, turned and I started to gain some line... I could barely budge this fish. It didn’t want to go anywhere near the shore. this was at about 6 minutes into the fight...

I’m going to leave the story right there... and let you enjoy this experience by watching the video above.


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