Mission Bay 1/16 and 1/18 - Multispecies Bonanza

Discussion in 'Bay Fishing' started by cort, Jan 18, 2021.

  1. cort

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    I got a new Pro Angler kayak late in December and am mostly interested in fishing La Jolla with it, but staying safe in the harbors until the surf flattens out a bit more and probably till the water warms up a bit too.

    So I've been hitting Mission Bay to get it dialed in, and wow - this weekend was great fishing, at least for me.

    On Saturday the weather was fantastic and I was out there from roughly 1pm to 6:30, I caught in the ballpark of 30 fish, here are the species caught.

    Black surf perch (all sizes, some 11+ inchers)
    Calico (all sizes)
    Sargo (12 inches)
    Sculpin (~10 inches)
    Blacksmith (dink)
    Rock wrasse (one of these was enormous!)
    Halfmoon (10-12")

    The sargo was really nice sized and so were the perch, so I kept one of each to bring home and eat. My wife gave them both the thumbs up.

    Of special note on Saturday I was checked for a license by a friendly fish and game officer, so hope everyone has gotten theirs and is legit - they are out there! He was cool and wished me well after glancing over my license.

    Today (Monday) I went out around 1pm again and fished until about 6 - it was much cooler tonight and while I wanted to get some night-fishing in, I was freezing my butt off by sundown in my board shorts and hooded pullover. That was fine though, because the bite was on fire for me virtually all afternoon. I have no idea how many fish I caught. I would estimate that, conservatively, there were at least 50 fish caught - all released.

    I caught all the species listed from Saturday, and also caught sand bass and spotties. My first cast of the day got me hooked up with both a sand bass and a spotty at the same time. I thought I had a real beast on, but no - just a pair of 13 inch bass! I had just rigged up two hooks in a pretty unconventional fashion because I didn't feel like retying. After retrieving these two, I had to retie anyway because they'd swam in circles around one another, but it was fun and totally worth it!

    Here's a pic of the double catch, none of the other catches today were especially noteworthy in size but the black surf perch were approaching slab status.

    All fish caught with a simple Werfless special rig using market shrimp for bait and a 1oz torpedo sinker, from the kayak.

    140862600_690558611634714_3026974023634232172_n.jpg
     
  2. Dry Fly Rie

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    Wow, congrats on a couple of great outings.
     
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  3. Gudelgad

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    Im a bay fishing newbie but have been trying to learn all I can from reading posts on sdfish. Went out on a boat rental with my son on Saturday and had a lot of great luck on the outgoing tide. We caught 9 SBB and 3 Rock Wrasse in about 90 minutes, mostly on ghost shrimp. I had heard from a lot of people that it’s slow right now but we had a rather productive weekend. Interesting to hear you had a good day with shrimp. Just curious, when you say “market shrimp,” do you mean you literally go to a Ralph’s and buy uncooked shrimp?
     
  4. cort

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    basically, but I get them from h-mart because the ones from ralph’s are too clean and don’t have the natural juices and stuff. Freeze them in the bag and toss it into the bait bucket. Like this.

    E8FF35CC-CB37-4613-9173-B3DCDCE0482E.jpeg
     
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  5. cort

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    Also just use a little bit, like the size of two peas. One shrimp as pictured is about 8-10 baits.
     
  6. Gudelgad

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    Thanks for the information. I’ve done well with ghost shrimp and bloodworms but both can be hard to come by. Plus, I have to make sure I have miracle thread for the ghost shrimp or you are basically just feeding the fish or the seagulls. I imagine that the shrimp pieces stay on the hook better than ghost shrimp?
     
  7. Werfless

    Werfless The Coach ..RIP my friends
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    Very nice. Easy way to go about it....
     
  8. cort

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    You'll still get robbed but if you use the appropriate amount of bait, and small enough hooks, it will happen less.'

    I was using #4 and #6 Mustad live bait hooks, like I said you just want enough to thread on there, not a big glob of shrimp. Any excess hanging off is what they're going to grab onto, and swim off, tearing the rest right off the hook.

    This happens less with the bass species, as they tend to just inhale the whole thing, but the other fish species will peck at it like that.
     
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  9. twiggen

    twiggen Well-Known Member

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    nice catch! which areas of MB did you hit up?
     
  10. cort

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    Well, without getting specific - I look for areas where there is a shear in the current, and boundaries of structure, like where the rock from the shore reinforcements or jetties meets the sand.

    Fish are lazy, they will stay in the quiet water next to flowing water to watch for things drifting by - also the rocks give them a place to run to if a bigger fish comes by.

    I should have mentioned in the original post though that the bite absolutely didn't slow down for slack tide yesterday, which was around sunset - so it may have just been that the typical twilight bite cancelled out any slowdown from the slack tide.

    Really enjoyable fishing during that window because with the lack of current I didn't have to work at keeping the kayak in the zone nearly as hard.
     
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  11. twiggen

    twiggen Well-Known Member

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    awesome, thanks for the tips. do you use a fishfinder to locate those structures?
     
  12. cort

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    It helps, yes. If you can find where the rock meets the sand/mud of the regular bottom, that's a great spot to fish, especially from the water side of it since you don't have to retrieve through the shore/jetty rocks (snags). Big depth transitions almost always hold fish, from what I know.

    I should add, that I'm no expert on this, and a beginner myself. But I'm beginning to think that you can think of the bay as essentially a river that changes directions a few times a day (tides filling and draining the bay basin). Thus, you can apply a lot of river fishing techniques to the bay and be successful.

    For example, you can look at bridge pylons as objects that block the tidal current and behind them, there will be eddies of quiet water with fish in them. The water between the pylons will be running faster because that's a restriction.

    What's interesting about the bay though is that the current changes pretty significantly depending on how much of a delta that given tide is, and where it is in the process. The boundary between quiet water and moving water changes as the process happens. You can even see it on the surface around the jetties.
     
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  13. myahk

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    Noob bait question: when you fish with market shrimp from a kayak, do you soak the bait until you get a hit? Or do you cast and retrieve like a lure? Or something else?
     
  14. cort

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    Well your kayak is moving around in the current and/or your paddling, so ideally you keep the bait as close to vertical as possible, close to the bottom - until you get hit. I usually drop straight down until I feel bottom and then close the bail, possibly give it a crank or two if the bottom is snaggy (no real need if it's sand/mud bottom). What you want to avoid is having the bait out laterally away from your kayak, because you'll be way more apt to snag and it's not offering you any advantage.

    The exception to this is if I want to position the bait somewhere in particular I might cast to that point and let the bait sink, then move the kayak (and slowly retrieve line to pick up slack) until I'm vertically over it.
     
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  15. myahk

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    Thanks for the advice. I have definitely been doing it wrong by casting way out before drifting bait (and usually only catching globs of eel grass as a result).
     
  16. Werfless

    Werfless The Coach ..RIP my friends
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    Usually you get bit pretty quick .. if not, you're in the wrong spot...
     
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  17. cort

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    That's also true. I would estimate my 'soak time' before a bite that last weekend this report was about... was roughly 15 seconds. No exaggeration.
     
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  18. Werfless

    Werfless The Coach ..RIP my friends
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    I would be surprised if it was even that long... Lol
     
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