Leucadia hydrography #2

Discussion in 'Surf, Piers, & Jetties' started by K-Bo Smack, Jul 12, 2020.

  1. K-Bo Smack

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    It is quite impressive how quickly a beach profile change in only one week. Last Sunday Bassnbeans and I fished the same area and the beach had the same profile as a Walmart parking lot. This week its a whole different story...

    I went out yesterday morning during the slack low for a scouting mission and was shocked at the change in profile. There are great inside troughs all along the Leucadia beach with a ~30 yard (wide) sand bar between the inside trough and the point where the surf rolls onto the sand bar. The outside waves are breaking about another 30-40 yards beyond the outside edge of the sand bar. Water was super clear, salad wasn't a problem - patchy in some areas, and current was mild. I threw the LC for a while, but kinda knew the water was too low for anything serious. Switched over to the c-rig just to see if any fish had moved back into the area and eventually found a school of pretty decent YFCs in the outside trough. Ended up catching 3 (or 4) of the 12"-13" models. No dinks - yes! - and no gut hooks - double yes!. Everything went back in the drink to live another day. I only saw 1 large model bean sliding up in the skinny as I walked back towards the car. It was about 09:15 when I spotted it and, unfortunately, the swimmers had already shown up. By the time I found a sand crab and got it pinned to the hook there was a 4-5 yr old boy throwing his mini surfer guy toy on top of the bean's head. Needless to say I didn't continue my pursuit and left for the day.

    I went back this morning knowing the water level would be a little higher and planned to drag some stick baits through the outside trough. I had seen some really good holes at the bottom of the outside trough the day before and was hoping to find a couple flatties before low slack started. On the sand at 06:00 and the conditions were just like the previous day, water was crystal clear, little to no salad, but the current had picked up a bit. The outside breakers were choppy and set waves didn't have much form (fine w/ me...very few SUP or surfers in the water). I cautiously waded through the inside trough keeping my eyes peeled for rays. Sure enough, there were plenty of them to avoid. Casted for about an hour before I finally found something eager enough to hit the lure.

    Caught at 06:53 - LC 110 Ghost Green Smelt
    IMG_20200712_065359.jpg

    Nothing great, but nice to finally catch something with a little color from the surf. After I released the calico I was shuffling my way back onto the sand bar and a big ol' butterfly ray took off from the bottom of a hole...at least 30" tip to tip...pretty cool to see such a big ray hanging in the shallow water.

    Next cast took a heavy hit as soon as the LC got down to running depth. Steady drag peeled, well as steady as the Penn would deliver...more on that later, and the line went straight out for a good 10 seconds, then started running parallel to the shore line. I couldn't tell if it was a ray or the flattie that I was hoping for, I was rooting for a flattie. The drag reduced to slow clicks, I leaned back to put a little more tension on the line and the damn LC popped loose. Oh well. I'm just going to keep telling my self that it was a foul-hooked ray and the fish Gods saved me the hassle of wrestling the lure out of the fish.

    Couple casts later the LC got absolutely railed as soon as it hit the water. Whatever took the bait was headed strait for Hawaii...I have never had line strip off at that rate before. I held on and cranked the drag down after it appeared as if this fish was not going to slow down. Line stripping slowed a bit, like the rate of a 20" bean on a 2nd or 3rd run, and I actually saw my line with fish at the end running along the surface ~80 to ~100 yards out. BIG silver fish. Whatever it was had enough of me and the pesky lure it was sucking on so it made another balls to the wall sprint, threw a few head shakes and it was off. Grateful to have had that experience, landing the fish would have been better, but that was just flat out cool.

    I spotted a few more breaks in the surface as I continued to cast and watched a few fish chasing bait in the face of the waves. I was working to cast right in front of the outside breakers and put the LC right in front of a building swell, reeled in the slack and ripped it hard to stay in front of the wave. Boom...top water glory. Fish busted though the wave as it smashed the lure. It wasn't near as big as the one I lost, but took a good run after it hit and realized it was hooked. I kept back peddling towards the shore, trying to keep look out for the rays as I stumbled through the inside holes. Made it to the sand and ended up with a 2020 surf vamp.

    Caught at 07:00 - same LC Ghost Green Smelt
    IMG_20200712_070532.jpg
    After putting this one in hand I suspect this fish's grandpa is what I hooked into as he was on his way to Hawaii. I did the right thing after taking the picture and brain spiked this guy before I even attempted to remove the hooks. Had a damn good lunch.
    IMG_20200712_122402.jpg

    If you've made it this far in the post you deserve a summary. Leucadia structure is good and there are fish to catch. Good luck!!

    Now about that Penn reel. I have a couple surf set-ups and typically fish with a 10 footer equipped with a 4000 Daiwa Saltist. I fish so much with that set-up that I don't even think about it when its in my hands. I routinely dunk the reel in saltwater while I'm fishing to get slime/sand off the handle, but also spray it off with the hose when I get home after almost every session. Great reel, smooth retrieve, smooth drag, and I've never felt under-equipped when landing a fish (or decent size ray). Today for what ever reason, intuition told me to grab the OTHER set-up...an 8 foot surf rod with a 3500 Penn Slammer III. Not a cheap rig, in fact this set up is about 1.5x the cost of my go-to rig. Why I felt compelled to take this rig today is a mystery. Anyway, I feel like the Penn really under performed today. The drag wasn't consistent, almost like it was hunting to find the springs and washers. And when I was getting stripped it just didn't have the same huevos as the Daiwa. The Penn 3500 is rated for 30lb drag and Daiwa 4000 is only rated for 17.lb. Given the couple bigger hook-ups I was expecting at least equal in performance, but the Penn didn't meet my expectations. If any of you are thinking about dropping some serious coin on a Slammer 3 I would reconsider...you're paying a lot of money for that sweet looking handle.
     
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  2. Werfless

    Werfless The Coach ..RIP my friends
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    Damn, dude.. nice work
     
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  3. citruspirate

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    Never thought to go to leucadia before; might have to give it a go
     
  4. Chazzman

    Chazzman Well-Known Member

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    Great report. Always enjoy them. I’ve been fishing near stone steps and north lately and it has been featureless for weeks. Glad to hear things are coming back together.

    I’m with you on the reel. I have a Penn Battle 2 and even though it’s my most costly reel, it’s my least favorite. I really wanted to love it but it’s just too delicate. One misplaced grain of sand and it grinds badly. My much older reels are like tanks. I’m guessing the tolerances are much too tight and precise. Give me the old sloppy tank anyday.

    Thanks for leaving the bigger fish behind for another day!
     
  5. K-Bo Smack

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    Thanks Coach. I was kicking myself for not throwing salt pros or Xraps in my bag...I know those baits would have extended my reach another 10 yards. The big ones were right on the edge of my casting range. Would have been cool to get out a little further and really find out if there was school of big boys out there.
     
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  6. Gabemorales

    Gabemorales KelpSnagger
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    Should’ve listened to you and gone to your spot! A perch on shrimp, guy a few yards away caught a monster bean (what it looked like). But no kidding, structure in that general area is GNARLY holy cow. Never seen so many holes in one spot. Congrats on some pretty cool surf catches!

    As far as gear, Pretty much feel the same, out of all that I have, I’ve been really enjoying my penn wrath on an ugly stik inshore select. More so than my ot Stradic (for the surf). Launches LCs out there, good distance for c rigs, and drag is smooth for a $30 pick up. No complaints and I’ll probably buy a back up soon.
     
    #6 Gabemorales, Jul 12, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2020
  7. Bassnbeans

    Bassnbeans Zen Fisherman
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    That was a Harlequin Romance chapter for anglers! LOL! Hey, I love it. What can I say? Guilty pleasure! LOL!

    Great report as always from you, my friend. I’m glad you had some excitement down there.

    I hit Carlsbad, north of Tamarack with justinjoy this morning for the swing through low tide. Structure is definitely building with 2-4 foot inside troughs forming up along much of the stretch. Very noticeable cuts and rips too. Looked like a lot of the “sweet” sized sandcrabs in the trough and sandbars. A few “bean” flats closer to the O-side border.
    Only saw one bean sliding out of the skinny but couldn’t get him to look at my bait. Got a few perch on BW. No love on the crabs. Slower than I would have expected given bait and structure, but I think it was just the wrong tide stage.

    Sorry to hear about your reel. You can hand it down to me if you get a replacement. LOL! The smooth consistent and adjustable drag is what I like most about my Battle II. Oh well.

    BTW, is it just me or are there like 3 times as many people with fishing rods on the beach this year???

    Cheers all!
     
  8. Dry Fly Rie

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    Yes, definitely. I"ve never seen so many surf fisherman as I have this year.

    Cool report, K-BO. I always love your posts and outings.
     
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  9. K-Bo Smack

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    Appreciate the positive feedback on the write up. I do a lot of technical writing for work, specifications, requirements, analyses, tech notes, etc., so it's a welcome break to write about something I with a little passion.
    Also appreciate the report on Tamarack. I plan to hit that area over the next two weeks.
    I also want to give the Slammer a fair shake. I'll strip it down, give it a good cleaning, and check the drag washers. Hopefully it just needs some TLC.
     
  10. perch killer

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    Congrats on the vamp; still looking for my 1st from the surf. Thx for the beach intel also.
     
  11. B8DHOOK

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    Very cool K-Bo.. great write up. A big Striper.... you had a big azz Striper on K-Bo.. go back and get that sum beetch...
     
  12. K-Bo Smack

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    I wish I knew how stripers run when hooked. This one didn't go deep, ran like a train just under the surface. I still think it was a big vina.
     
  13. William Ritchie

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    Take care with the Dura Drag washers , no chemical strip ,no relube , Propriatory and infused in the material at the factory .Same stuff used in automatic transmission clutches . Note from Penn , repairbulletin3_duradragbulletin.pdf , Good report BTW . Good Luck . WR
     
  14. Midnightpass

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    What a great fishing session... Those line burning runs are a hoot... WTG on a great report...

    Butch
     
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  15. B8DHOOK

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    Dryflyrie should be able to help you with that one Keith.. He would definitely know about these salt stripers.. Stripers at Lake Powell go deep. Even after being hooked on the surface. They’re not an acrobatic type fish from what I’ve seen.. I can’t wait to eat a saltwater Striper, as I’ve eaten countless of the freshwater type.. I have it in my head that the salt runners will be much more firm.
     
  16. Fat Spottie

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    Interesting to hear that about the Slammer III. I had the opportunity to fish a 6500 on a 50lb fish and it had the nuts for that fish. I know the guys in AU like it... but this is the first time I think I’ve seen someone who consistently fish the surf use it. If it’s tolerances are to high... it’s to high. My Diawa Fuego that I got for some $90 has been my child for the past 3 years. Totally awesome little reel.
     
  17. B8DHOOK

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    I keep hearing good things about this Fuego.. I’m in the market for a long caster 300 series... I’ve also heard you rave about the Toro Beast bait caster... also in the market for a 300 size beefy baitcaster. Fuego sounds great, and I guess I’ll wait till the new Penn baitcasters come out before deciding on the Revo or Penn ?
     
  18. Fat Spottie

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    I don’t like the Revo drags so I’m going for the HT100s in the Penn. HT100s are just bad azz. The Revo sizes cast exceptionally well and did really well flylining. Diawa Fuegos are just awesome.
     
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  19. Dry Fly Rie

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    The one I caught and the one I watched my dad land both took off straight out like they were shot out of a cannon. Then, when we got them back into the white water (maybe waist to chest deep), they ran a couple hundred yards parallel to the beach before being landed. Mine ran North and was hooked in the left side of the mouth. My dad's ran South and was hooked in the right side of the mouth.

    Both were high in the water column, with visible tail slaps/thrashing near the surface.

    It sounds like you had a battle with some kind of beast, whatever it was.
     
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  20. B8DHOOK

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    Good stuff Dry Fly Rie.. pretty interesting. I just saw someone post a 29” Striper yesterday that was caught here in the surf somewhere.. It popped up on the Sdfish Facebook scroll.. looked to be a random day catch, as the sun was bright in the picture.
     
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