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Fishing the NorCal Coastline

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.

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