top of page

Landed a keeper halibut this morning.

This is the 4th halibut I have caught in San Luis Obispo since moving here over a year ago. It is my 3rd keeper here.

I'm not sure if San Luis Obispo is making a "better" fisherman out of me. I'm catching a lot less fish. But the fish are so much harder to find here. It requires searching more beach, fishing longer hours, being more picky about conditions. San Luis is teaching me to fish HARDER than ever. To thinking bigger, walk further, cover more water and fish longer hours.

After 10 consecutive halibut missions and no bites, I was feeling pretty discouraged, and also curious as hell. Why are the halibut biting some days, and not others? Is it the barometric pressure? Fluctuations in water temp? Too much bait in the water? Half of me was saying I should stop investing so much time and gas money into beating a dead horse. The other half of me was too curious and determined to give up.

Then last night I got an invite from Mike de Leon to fish a secret spot he has been catching at since he was 8 years old. And with the forecasted storm, I thought maybe this would be the ticket to get the fish biting.

I picked up Mike at 5:30am and we headed to the beach. Geared up in the dark, and started walking out to the spot in grey light. The water was flat as glass and the yellow sun reflected off the water as I gazed back to the east, rendering a most beautiful sunrise image. If all I caught was a beautiful sunrise this morning, it may have been worth it.

40 minutes in and no bites. I was beginning to feel discouraged, but as my kind wandered I continued to keep my rod tip up and slooooowly drag my Shiney White Minnow 5” Rib Bait with 1/4oz XLS swimbait hook along the bottom. Slow, low, steady… my mantra.

Thump! “Oh!” I shouted out. Mikey turned his head and saw me rip my rod back. It bent, but then immediately rebounded. “I saw that!” shouted Mikey, from down the beach. “My drag was too loose!” I shouted back. OK a bite! That’s a good sign!

We keep grinding. 15 minutes later a feel a single hard thump on the end of my line. This time I slowly lifted my rod tip to see if it would load. Yup, my line was tight, so I ripped back as hard as I could. My rod bends. It feels heavy! I feel intermittent head shakes with long pauses if dead weight. The sure sign of a keeper halibut.

A minute later we are taking a photo of the 25” keeper.

We got back to fishing. One more bite that didn’t stick. I’m glad we got one!

We enjoyed some brotherly words of love and encouragement on the way back to the car. I told Mikey I will smoke this whole halibut and drop half off to him soon. Thanks so much for fishing with me Mikey!



bottom of page