Archive for the ‘Fun Fishing’ Category

Fishing the NorCal Coastline

During the past week I headed out to the coast to try my luck targeting new species and perfect techniques fishing nearshore species from the surf and rocks. I grew up ocean fishing, from boats to piers and rocky shoreline.

I never had much success fishing the surf in the past, and set out to target Surfperch for the first time at Stinson Beach. Armed with a 7’3″ Spinning Bass Rod with 18lb Samurai Braid with a 6lb Seaguar Fluorocarbon leader, I set out fishing the south side of the beach. The majority of my fish came on a Berkley Gulp 2″ Sandworm. I used a 1 1/2 oz Egg sinker Carolina Rigged with a 12 inch leader and size 4 octopus hook.

I ended up catching over 14 perch over two days, spending 3-4 hours at the beach each time. Kept one keeper red tail and one barred for a BBQ at my buddy’s.

Friday I headed out to Slide Ranch and Ft. Baker Jetty to poke pole for Monkeyface Eels and Rockfish. My friend Andrew and I were able to land 7-8 Monkeyfaces, keeping 3 for dinner, as well as a keeper greenling.

Made Monkeyface Eel fish ‘n chips, using beer batter (mix of flour, beer, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper)

Sunday I headed out to Doran Park Jetty, and left the Poke Poles in the truck, deciding to focus on trying to catch Ling Cod, Cabezon and other rockfish. Missed one bite on a big hammer swimbait before switching over to try drop shotting for rockfish for the first time. I rigged up a 4″ Keitech Swimbait in Silver Shiner with a 2/0 Medium Wire Roboworm hook and a 3/4 oz drop shot weight.

Caught a pregnant Buffalo Sculpin fairly quickly at the base of a large rock.

 

Worked my way out farther on the jetty. The incoming tide started ripping pretty good, and I casted my drop shot diagonally/parallel with the jetty and let it drift back to me. My line started going the opposite way and I reeled up into a keeper size ling. It was a fun fight with the spinning bass rod and 8lb test.

I released both fish to fight another day. I was able to land over 7 different species of fish including, Redtail and Barred surfperch, ling cod, Buffalo Sculpin, greenling, monkeyface eel, sand dab and a dungeness crab.

You can find all the baits I used at Monster Fishing Tackle. Feel free to email me through the contact button at the top of the page with any questions on how to catch some fish on the Northern California coast yourself.

Fishing Berry Deep, Lake Berryessa!

Since moving down to Napa, Lake Berryessa has become adopted as my new home waters. I can get to the ramp in just over thirty minutes, launching is free, and there’s healthy populations of largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass. So whether its an impulsive last minute fishing trip or a planned one, I end up there a lot.

On Friday I headed out to Berryessa on an impulse, and to figure out how the fish are responding to this wacky abnormally sunny winter weather, with water temperatures hovering around 51 degrees. I drop shotted, spooned, jigged, cranked and even threw an alabama rig. Didn’t get a bite. Zilch. I was struggling to find anything alive all day on the graph. It was the first time I didn’t land a fish at Berryessa since I started fishing it late last summer. The one bass fisherman I talked to at the ramp said his only fish was over 5lbs on an alabama rig in around 20 feet of water.

Yesterday, I got to the ramp around twelve once more, looking for revenge. When I go fishing solo it gets personal. Just me and the fish. I tried focusing on chunk rock points in around 25-35 feet of water, throwing the drop shot and spoon. I was still failing to mark fish, and chose to make the run from the south end (I launch from Capell Cove) to the Putah Creek Road bridges in the north end. In the past I’ve been able to entice some nice bass to hit either a drop shot or senko on the fall, thrown up against the bridge pilings.

Surrounded by trout fisherman anchored up to the pilings and trolling under the bridge with down riggers, I began to attack the pilings, watching my line, waiting for it to stop. It never stopped. I marked fish on the bottom, 70 feet down, and began to slowly work my drop shot. Finally I got that familiar tick tick, and set the hook into what hardly qualified as a fight. A 4 inch bass in 70 feet of water? You’ve got to be kidding me. Definitely a testament to fishing with braided line, in being able to pick up such a light and deep bite.

After giving up on the bridge pilings and praying I had enough gas to make it back to the ramp, I made the run back to Capell Cove, not wanting to give up, but starting to get dark and cold fast. I idled by a few last rock points, keeping my eyes glued to the graph, and finally saw a solid school of fish stacked up in 45 feet of water. I downsized from a 6″ Roboworm in Morning Dawn color to a 4.5″ Roboworm in Prizm Shad color. First cast produced a decent smallmouth out of 46 feet of water. A few minutes later, I brought in an identical smallmouth. The key was to work the bait very slowly, giving it the slightest shake and pause. I headed back into the ramp with my hands finally smelling fishy, and content in knowing I had learned a little more about the fishery.

In Short: 2.5 Fish caught (does 4 inches count as a half?), 45 feet deep, using a 4.5″ Prizm Shad Roboworm with a 1/4 ounce drop shot weight, off a solid rock point.

Drop shot setup: Dobyns DX702SF, Shimano Stradic CI4, with 15lb Daiwa Samurai Braid/ 7lb Sunline leader.

You can find all these products at www.monsterfishingtackle.com

A Day Off!

I’ve been having the itch to hit the water real bad lately. You know what I’m talking about. When all you can think about is hooking into a fish and forgetting everything else but trying to get it in the boat. Fortunately, my boss let me know we would be taking the day off today, and I instantly started getting the boat ready. I decided to head up to Lake Hennessy, just north of Napa, between St. Helena and Lake Berryessa. The lake has a 10hp and under limitation, so I would be using only my trolling motor today.

I put the boat in the water around 12pm and set off exploring. It was the first time I put my boat in the water at Hennessy, as I was unclear on the restrictions. I drive by the lake every day on my way to work at a winery on Pritchard Hill. The day started off slow, mostly with me running around on the trolling motor trying to mark bait and fish, and having relatively little success. The lake is fairly shallow, with it being hard to find water deeper then 30 feet. I committed to throwing an 8″ Huddleston around for an hour, as it’s a well stocked trout reservoir.  My first fish (1-1.5lbs) came on a shakeyhead off some tules in 6 feet of water… quite the opposite of the deeper water and ledges where I was assuming the fish would be.

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I spent another couple hours fishing a little shallower, throwing some more plastics, a vision 110 jerkbait, and eventually moving out to deeper water again  trying a DD22. I decided to head towards what would be the middle of the section of the lake I was in, as I worked my way back to the ramp. I kept my eyes on the graph with my spooning rod in hand, waiting to mark something. After about five minutes of zig-zagging my way back I saw one real solid arch on the graph, stopped the boat and sent my spoon down. I jigged my spoon up once… twice… three times… SLAM. If you’ve ever hooked into a fish on a spoon before you know the feeling. The rod almost flies out of hands as you yank your rod up into what feels like a brick wall.

This fish was hot. My spinning rod was doubled and I could feel head shake after head shake. I thought it was going to end up being a big rainbow. Instead it ended up being a nice largemouth just over 7lbs at 7-01. It was a great fight and I was stoked to actually single out one fish off the graph and get it in the boat, when often times you can be marking many fish and never get a bite, which is what happened to us at regionals.

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I continued zig-zagging towards the ramp after I released the fish. Again, I marked a singular fish on the graph, and on the fifth jig hooked into another fish on the spoon. This one came up a lot easier, but was just as surprising when I saw what it was.

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I had to head in with the sun setting and my battery getting low. It was a great day on a new body of water. I filmed earlier in the day, but nothing eventful happened and I ran out of batteries. I promise to have some new footage up soon!

GoPro Head Camera test

Recently purchased the GoPro camera, and went out fishing for dinks at Cottage Grove Lake just south of Eugene, OR. Here’s a short clip of one of the 35-40 dinks my roomate Nick Doring and I pulled in. I might think twice next time I swing a rattletrap fish in the boat, the lure popped off and barely missed my head by an inch!

Salmon Fishing on the Siletz River, OR

On Friday I had the chance to go salmon fishing for the first time in a long while. Fellow OBT members/regional qualifiers Nick Doring and Cody Herman accompanied me, as we hit the water at first light with Oregon guide Brandon “Ricky Bobby” Glass, of Team Hookup Guide Service, a good friend of Cody’s. It was his first day back on the Siletz, using it to prefish for upcoming clients. Fishing bobbers the entire day, we were able to land one chinook, dropping two more at the boat, all in all a very solid day and from the sound of it better than many locals were having on the water. It was my first time bobber fishing for salmon, and staring at the bobber, waiting for it to get sucked down was definitely one intense way of fishing! Brandon’s boat was awesome, 25 feet of pure fishing machine, equipped with a Humminbird 1197 SI unit, giving us something to stare at as we ran up and down the river. We couldn’t help but talk about our upcoming FLW College Fishing Regional tournament throughout the day, which will start Thursday. As my roomate Nick drove us home, I nodded off, waking up as I dreamt of a bobber-down, only to make the hookset motion in real life. The hookset dreams seem to be getting worse and worse as regionals closes in, even poking myself in the eye as I dreamt of hooking into a giant Delta bass. Soon it will be time for the real thing!

Another OBT duo qualify for Regionals

While on the water my roomate Nick Doring and Cody Herman got the call that they qualified for the 2010 FLW College Fishing Western Regionals. They will be the second team representing the University of Oregon at regionals, along with my partner Ross Richards and I. Check it out.

Fern Ridge, OR

Fellow OBT members Cody Herman, Carter Troughton and I went fishing on Fern Ridge reservoir just west of Eugene, Oregon yesterday. It was the first time bass fishing for us on the reservoir and one of the first of many trips on my new boat. We were forewarned about low water levels and prevalent stumps throughout the lake, but man was it intense! We focused on two northern arms, with creek beds running through them. When we could not find a creek bed to idle through we were running in as shallow as two feet of water. Without a GPS unit, we found the best way to find the creek beds, was to pull up a map of the lake on my iPhone, which clearly showed the creek beds due to a satellite image of the lake when it was at its lowest. By doing so we were able to find a deep water channel running 12-13 feet deep. After four hours of no fish, we focused on a wind blown stretch of rip rap just off the deep channel. In eight minutes, we had three bites on spinnerbaits, landing three fish for a total of 14lbs. We assumed we had found our pattern and tried similar areas throughout the day, but with no success. We learned a lot about the lake, and plan to fish the Fern Ridge Open, on April 24th.

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Just Another Day

I can’t seem to go more then a week without fishing. With school taking up the majority of my days during the week, if I have a window of time, I go. Yesterday I went to check out Fern Ridge reservoir with another member of the OBT, Cody. During the winter it always seems to be hit or miss on the water levels, and yesterday, we missed. When we got to the lake it was extremely low, with the whole marina out of the water and the docks on solid mud.

With water temperatures of mid 40′s, six inches of visibility and four to five feet or water, we knew the odds of catching a fish were not in our favor. Being the tackle junkies that we are, we were already changing our lures after 10 minutes of fishing. After multiple lure changes, owning up to the fact that we were not fishing ideal conditions, and would be extremely lucky to get even one bite, we both tied on topwaters. Yesterday was just about having a good time, talking about past tournaments, big fish and laughing at the absurd tactics of fishing topwaters in extremely muddy water during an Oregon winter.