Bay fishing with grubs for Corvina............................

Discussion in 'Bay fishing' started by kyle b, Mar 7, 2015.

  1. kyle b

    kyle b Well-Known Member

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    This past year (2014) was amazing for the Corvina at Mission Bay. Corvina are pack fish that troll weed lines for bait schools all over the bay. They are a unknown fish for some anglers and actually get confused for with White Sea Bass. I have heard stories of anglers catching these fish and measuring them at 19 to 27.5 inches thus letting them go. Thinking they were short sea bass they quickly caught and released them. This would upset any angler, especially thinking they lost a white sea bass due to it being short 1/2 of an inch. When talking to these people they become even more upset to find out they are one of the best tasting fish in the bay. Corvina is a white fish that to me resembles Mahi when cooked correctly. The fish is some what new to the San Diego region. It migrated here from Mexico within the past 10 years and have been growing in numbers ever since. They are a hard fish to catch and sought after by serious anglers who's soul purpose is Corvina. Corvina also gets mistaken for Corbina. Corbina are fish that hangout on weed lines and sand crab patches along lagoons and beaches. Corbina look similar but have a "pucker" type mouth which they use to suck up sand crabs to eat. (Below is a picture of a Corbina my buddy caught off Del Mar using a sand crab at low tide this past year). Corvina have a distinctive set of teeth which make them easy to identify when caught. They have two fangs on the upper part of the mouth. They look like little vampire fish. Dont' let them fool you, these fish will draw blood and snap line in the blink of an eye. Most anglers like to use Rapala and X-Rap lures to catch these guys. I like to use grubs, yes 4-5 inch curly tail grubs. The picture below is a Corvina I caught last year which measured 27 inches and weighed 8 lbs. You can see the type of grub and lead head I used. It was a 4 inch GULP white mullet grub on a 3/8 white torpedo lead head. Corvina like to travel in packs (3-5 fish a group) and you can see them trolling both sides of the weed line at high tides. There are different things you may see when Corvina's are present. First off they seem to be more active around sundown or dusk, but I have caught them at all times of the day. They will cause boils in the water like bonito do and drive the schools of bait to the surface. When you see the boils, you are seeing the bait fish running and jumping about as the fish tear them apart. They do not stay in one place and move around the bay constantly. If you see boils then act on it, this might be your only chance till the next pack comes through. I will now explain how I catch Corvina with a curly tail grub. First off I wait for the boils to occur. When I see this I will cast my lure right into the middle of it and start "burning it" across the surface. That means I will cast into the action and reel fast causing the lure to stay on the surface. I am doing this because of what I mentioned earlier. Corvina push bait to the surface so they can trap it and strike. When your lure hits the water and retreats back to you, you are giving the impression of a sole bait fish leaving the school. Once your lure leaves that school of bait fish it is in open water. remember, you have 3-5 fish circling that area and one is bound to see that grub and hit it. Once a Corvina hits your lure and the hook is set, the fight is on. It is by far one of the most aggressive fish to battle. Usually the fish will panic and dart for deeper water. Make sure your drag isn't super tight. Corvina are known to take off hard and once that slack is gone the kinetic energy will cause a spit hook or snap your line instantly. Let the drag out a little and let the fish run. This is where is gets fun! These fish like to zig zag and will shoot left for 10 yards and turn right and go another 10 yards. You think you have it and it will find some hidden energy and dart another 30 yards out to deeper water. You will find your self walking down the shore back and fourth and it will repeat this over and over again. The fish in the picture took me 8-10 min to get in. I was using a small 1500 Shimano (Sahara) spinning reel and a light rod with 12 lbs mono. I took it nice and easy and let the fish do most of the work. By the time I got her in she was dead tired and I literally walked her back onto the beach. If you land one of these fish in a skiff you might want to tighten the drag down just a little more and control where you let them go. If it has any size on it you might even have to start the motor and play "Wicked Tuna" LOL......... There is no size limit on these fish and catching them is a blast! I know traditional ways of catching these fish are with other lures made for burning the surface, but trying new stuff is both fun and challenging. Hope you catch some big ones this year cause I can't wait for these guys to start hitting again!!!!! Good Luck!

    Note: I am sure there is a page on SDfish that has a list of places people catch these guys. corvina 2.jpg corvina 1.jpg




















    View attachment 6486

    corbina 2.jpg
     
    #1 kyle b, Mar 7, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2015
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  2. dj thrillz

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    Nice write up and all, but I'm not sure where you are getting most your info from since vinas have been around since early 90s. Only other thing I would discourage is keeping these fish. If you have paid any attention to all of my postings, I offer very little information about catching vinas. There is a reason why. Although they have grown into quite the population in our waters, the quest for them has also grown. I have personally seen a group of 3 guys with 27 smallish corvina in a 5gal bucket. That's 27 vinas that will not reproduce, they were all about 14". Some of is have petitioned DFG a while back about regulating these fish, either putting a size or catch limit on them but it went nowhere since they weren't a native fish. That's what I was told anyways....
    They are fun to catch, and there are certain times and places where the big ones are and this info would never hit public forums if it was up to me.
    I am forced to bite my lip while cringing because it's legal to keep them at any size, but since this is a public forum I get to put in my .02.
    I encourage everyone to release these fish when caught, they haven't been here forever and will not be around forever as long as people are lining them up for photo ops in their skiffs and tossing them in buckets. We don't have any other fish in our waters that does what the shortfin does, it's another reason why our fishery is so great.

    Rant over.
     
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  3. kyle b

    kyle b Well-Known Member

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  4. buddha

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    Kyle B seems to be a fisherman that keeps his catch. That is his right but not one that I adhere to. I strongly discourage keeping any fish in MB or SD Bay. The oceans are ok except for calicos which take a long time to grow as do spotted bay bass.

    I wish there was a 5 to 10 year ban on keeping any calico bass in this area.

    Also I agree that there should be a ban on corvina or at least a size limit on them.

    Luckily I believe that there is a healthy population of them at least in SD Bay.

    I don't know about the population in MB since I never catch anything there.
     
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  5. kyle b

    kyle b Well-Known Member

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    Yes I keep some fish I catch. I follow the laws enforced by the CDFG. If you have noticed none of the fish I catch are by any means small. A few people on here seem to be upset I eat fish I catch. Yes I go fishing, catch the fish and eat some of them. I respect everyones beliefs and I do not take any fish unless they are obviously worth keeping. I see people all the time loading up on little fish and it makes me sick, but there is nothing I can do about it. If those people are following the law then that is their business. As I have noted in my posts, I only keep halibut 24 inches and up and those halibut have to be fat. I do not keep most of my Corvinas because they are not all that big. The one in the picture I did take, it was delicious, all 8lbs of it was wonderful! I caught around 5 that size and kept them all. I also caught around 20 smaller ones and I let them go. I wanted to explain this now so we don't have to keep going back and fourth on future posts. Also, this is a website to write experiences and share them with people, and visa versa. I respect you guys are trying to protect the oceans and bays, but really? I am not here to have environmental arguments with people and hope you all respect that. This website is about fishing and my post was about catching Corvina with a Gulp grub and how hard and amazing it is. I do not know how It turned into "PITA" debate about keeping the fish vs letting them go. Anyway, try the Gulp sometime, its pretty fun to do and hard to pull off. Good luck.....
     
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  6. set_da_hook

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    Better to keep a small vina than a large one. But then again I am I would love to see a no take on them.The population in San Diego Bay will be gone in 5-10 years, I have seen way to many big ones being kept along with small ones. A total shame!
     
  7. dj thrillz

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    They sell corvina at 99 ranch. Buy a couple pounds and eat til your hearts content. Running into larger ones is becoming rare. We will never have another 2006 when numerous 10# fish were caught and released. It is because of the exact quote here, I kept all the big ones.
    The members of this forum that have a history here, they've seen and heard all of this before. They also know there are quite a bit of vina hunters who are passionate about that fishery. When some of the members decide to keep a vina they pretty much keep it to themselves unless they could care less.
    Now I'm going to assume you've been reading the forums for a while. Have you ever noticed how many times I have repeated myself about bass fishing to numerous different members? That's because we are always getting new members joining up, and they are just trying to get pointed in the right direction. I write long and detailed responses to them about bassin all day long, but the minute the word corvina comes up, I become ice cold. You made it clear they are delicious, and made it clear that you have a cool way to catch them. So guess what the population of lurkers, and even some newer members will be doing soon? You can say all day long that you release most your fish, that's great. But when you hype them up and tell the bucketeers about the quality of taste, and the when's where's and what's about catching them, corvina will be gone just as the spotfin population in MB is. Every now and then one will be caught, but nothing like the late 90s to early 2000s. That fishery went south because of similar posts like yours on fishing forums got people's attention. They start saying "man, I gotta get in on this" and before you know it the entire shoreline is full of people targeting the same fish. This happened with vinas back in 2005-2006 when certain pieces of real estate were littered with fishermen elbow to elbow because a few articles were written up stating that these were corvina and not white seabass, all hell broke loose after that. Once most the bigger fish were caught and kept, finding them over 24" started becoming rare. They are there but I'll never share any info about it unless it within the guys who are in the know. They know who they are. And yes, most of them are members here but will not post anything about them.

    I have nothing against you, seriously. You do what you want. I'll keep crossing my fingers that there are still some anglers who will practice c&r with corvina after reading this whole thread. They truly are the most funnest fish in the bay to target. But they won't be if their all dead.
     
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  8. swings are free

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    Could not agree more!
     
  9. dj thrillz

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    Now everyone knows what makes me tick ;)
     
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  10. STiCKY

    Staff Member SDFish VIP

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    Too each his own... But really keeping bigger stock than a few mid sized fish? Doesn't compute well for future fishing but hey man do what floats your boat.
     
  11. swings are free

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    I and many others spend a ton of money on fishing and even if I kept everything we caught. It would not even begin to recuperate the cost. That's not why we fish. On the other hand there are those who spend minimal amounts on gear and keep everything they catch. Who's better for the sport? Who's better for the local economy? Ive seen great big fish spots obliterated because exact locations were posted. In some areas location is everything.
     
  12. NCTOADSLAYERZ

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    I think there's a lot more corvina around then most people think. For some of you to even consider it becoming a no-take species really is absurd. So you say if I catch a corvina whose face is half ripped off from my lucky craft that I should be forced to release it? Really? Just so you have a better shot at catching one? Thank god that's not how fisheries management works. Most of the time you release them they probably die anyway. They're an extremely fragile fish and any damage to the slime coat or bouncing around on the rocks and chances are the fish isn't going to make it. Even a long fight with lots of jumps can exhaust them past the point of no return.

    Also comparing them to what happened in MB with the spotfin croaker is a stretch. Corvina will only eat live bait or something that imitates live bait. Thats what makes them hard to catch and provides a natural buffer from the lazy bucket brigade who would rather throw out some squid or mackerel. In all my days of surveying beaches, piers, and launch ramps there is only 2 people I have ever encountered who've kept Corvina. It's not a common thing. Granted one of the guys usually massacres them and by no means do I think that's ok. Everything in moderation.


    I release 95% of the corvina I catch, but if I do choose to keep ONE i shouldn't have to worry about being persecuted by the Secret Corvina Society. If you want to know where to catch them and promise to release any fish that'll survive then send me a PM and I can point you in the right direction.
     
    #12 NCTOADSLAYERZ, Mar 8, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2015
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  13. STiCKY

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    I can see both sides... I'm all for rights and exercising the ability to keep what you catch, however, the poster said, he caught and kept 5 that were all 8lbs give or take. To me that's excessive, Is there really a need for 5 6-8lb fish? I by no means am saying release 100% of fish caught, culling is a good thing in moderation. Take what you need and eat what you keep, simple as that. I would not personally keep a Vina, there's far better eating available almost year round. To each his own ... $.02
     
  14. swings are free

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    I have no problem with people eating fish it used to be my job. I have made mistakes before on trusting the wrong people and it ruined spots . Its just my opinion so if someone can post I can respond.
     
  15. STiCKY

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    ^^^ This is true. Miramar a few years back was the bucket-snag spot. Treble hooks with sliding egg weights and multiple coolers really did a number on the shallow water oriented fish. People can easily turn a good spot into a faint memory. Sometimes things are better left unspoken.
     
  16. Lawman

    Lawman Attorney at Law
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    I have a book on California fisheries printed in early 1970's. It lists the Shortfin Corvina as extinct in Southern California waters due to over fishing. Meat hunters will do it again as the Neanderthal urge to kill and eat is pervasive. This is a worthy game fish that need not be fished into extinction once again. It should be exclusively a C&R fish. I have never kept one. Fishing in bays should be a sporting activity, not a mission to feed your family. Last time I checked the local grocery stores their meat cases had plenty of Pork, Chicken and Beef. Anglers need to evolve from primitive meat hunters into true sportsmen. The exception to C&R would include a fish that is damaged. That's common sense. Keeping a fish that disappeared for 25 years is plain stupid. Let the comeback continue to expand. I don't fish for Corvina or Halibut. If you eat them all it won't affect my pursuit of Calico Bass. In fact, I am spending most of my pursuits in Mexico and other exoctic locations where the meat hunters never go to catch Calico Bass. We have the poor fishery we deserve. Its not a right or wrong issue. Its about choices. Evolve!
     
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  17. NCTOADSLAYERZ

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    Yes he said he kept 5 fish at 8lbs, but not all in one day. 5 fish over the course of multiple months is not the end of the world. These fish are everywhere. The surf, shallow reefs, bays, lagoons. I know a few marine protected areas that are chalk full of corvina. Those fish are safe and will be here for a long time. No need to worry about overfishing. Fisherman are lucky enough to get one or two let alone fill a whole bucket with them. And @STiCKY I'm not sure how you've cooked them but I've prepared it side by side with halibut and can't tell the difference
     
  18. Nute

    Nute Researcher...
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    Screen Shot 2015-03-08 at 8.53.53 AM.png
    Leave Pita out of this, sir!
     
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  19. NCTOADSLAYERZ

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    @Lawman you still go to the grocery store and buy red meat?! Time to evolve;)
     
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  20. STiCKY

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    I'm simply stating that with almost any fishery, taking larger species is never conducive to the over all population of any species. Of course I don't shed tears for every fish that kicks the bucket lol. And meh, I personally prefer some YT, Tuna, Swordies, Wahoo... Halibut yes, WSB not so much way to bland for me. Like I said to each his own. The best fish I've ever had was BSB in Ensenada years ago.
     
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