North County Skunk Streak

Discussion in 'Surf, Piers, & Jetties' started by Fisher not a catcher, Aug 16, 2019.

  1. Fisher not a catcher

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    So moved to north county, got busy, sold kayak and stopped fishing for a few years. Recently went fishing with my brother up in Northern California at a family reunion and got the itch again.

    Watched a bunch of surf fishing vids on youtube and decided I would try getting into surf fishing.

    Problem is, I feel like in the few years I took off from fishing, I forgot everything and having the hardest time getting hooked up. I have been out to South Ponto about 4 or 5 times in in the last month (some traveling out of town between so not a lot of time) and I have been skunked every time.

    I have no idea what I'm doing wrong and I have finally swallowed my pride to ask for help. I decided to take Monday off and plan on hitting the beach. I was thinking if any of you guys want to help me out with a casual mini clinic, I would very much appreciate it.

    Some additional info to help focus all your advice:
    The last few trips I have tried different combinations of sand crabs and gulp sand worms. Hook sizes 4 through 8. C rigs and Droppers. 8lb seagar flouro ranging from 1ft leaders to 4 ft. I am using 30lb test chartreuse Jbraid as the mainline.1/4oz to 2oz weights. All on a 4000 BG reel and a lamiglass x-11 8'6" 1/4-1 oz.

    Each time I spent around 2 to 4 hours either at 6:30am or 5pm to sunset, trying to stay away from slack tides. Either an hour or 2 after or before high or low tides.

    I'm not sure if my bait presentation is bad, or my casting, or I'm too impatient and don't let the bait roll in the waves long enough before I start to retrieve.

    I have also watched all the rich trox reading the beach videos on youtube and try to fish the rip tides. I think I have the right spots cause surfers keep coming and decide to swim out from the beach in front of me next to my line. Maybe they see fishermen and just assume I know where the rips are haha.

    I feel like I'm doing everything right, but still getting skunked. I can imagine getting skunked a couple times, but 5 times in a row...? I must be doing something wrong. Please help!

    Also, I thought my handle was funny when I picked it a few years ago, but now I think I jinxed myself haha.
     
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  2. Easy619

    Easy619 Tug Addict
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    This year I've had 7 species days in the surf, and 5 day skunk streaks as well. Sounds like your doing everything right...maybe try some different bait, squid or shrimp chunks. Stay at it. Good luck and post some reports.
     
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  3. Werfless

    Werfless The Coach
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    Small shrimp chunk, number six hook. Fish structure areas at sunset on an incoming tide. When you break the skunk, and you will, pay attention to what worked and go from there..
     
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  4. toddamus

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    I feel your pain. Dialing in what works for you sucks, and fishing can be terrible too because sadly the fish don't tell us what we're doing wrong.

    One rig that consistently works in the surf is the basic c-rig with a gulp worm. You may not catch monsters but you will catch. Reel in slowly, make it like 3 turns slowly, then pause, three turns the pause. Also work on finding the rips and fishing adjacent to them. I was on the water in that area the last couple days and there are two very prominent rips and if you can find them you'll likely find something to grab the bait.

    I use size 4 hooks because I hate gut hooking, but a smaller hook should lead to more fish brought in.

    Pay attention to the marine layer. Fishing is almost always better if there are some clouds around.

    Like Werfless said, when you find something that gets bit, keep working that and don't try to be too clever, if it works stick with it and vary it up a little bit if you feel like it.

    My go to rig is simple. C-rig with a 1/2oz weight, size 4 hook. Nothing too crazy. Some guys catch way more than me, I know sometimes they use dropper rigs etc. Maybe stick with rigs that you know how to tie consistently and effectively. Learning to tie new rigs on the water can be a real pain.
     
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  5. Bassnbeans

    Bassnbeans Fishical Therapist
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    I agree with Easy619. Sounds like you've got the recipe, just sometimes the cake falls flat! You're in the right place with the right gear and set-up. It does seem to me like things have slowed down in the last couple of weeks, but July was pumping, you should have got bit. You might try to stay a bit more mobile. Both on the beach where you're at and going to other beaches. If you're not getting hits or getting weeds, move 100 yards. Then move again. If still no, try the next beach.
    I would be happy to run through what I know with you anytime. I work weekdays but occasionally get out after for short sessions. On the weekends I get out when I can. Watch for reports from K-Bo Smack. He gets on fish as much as anybody else I know. And he sometimes gets out on Fridays and Mondays. You're already fishing in his stomping grounds so maybe you will run into him.
    Good luck and keep at 'em!

    BTW- I think you can change your member name. Ask a moderator.
     
  6. Bassnbeans

    Bassnbeans Fishical Therapist
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  7. K-Bo Smack

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    I did get out today...scouted the flats between the inner and outer trough during the afternoon low. On the beach from 2:45-4:15. Good news - the full-size models were out on display. I saw more beans this afternoon than I've seen for the past 3 weeks, and a couple of them were PB class fish. Couldn't get any to take the hook. Seemed like they weren't actively feeding, just cruising. Also saw several schools of bait fish up in the skinny water. That being said, I have a hunch the fishing will be productive during incoming high tides this weekend.

    Fisher not a catcher I'll probably hit S Ponto tomorrow between 08:00-10:00 and would be happy to show you what kind of set-up I use and point out a few landmarks that I use to find the holes. It won't be the optimum time slot, but I suspect at least 1 or 2 fish will be hanging around.
     
  8. dj thrillz

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    Easy fix... move back to the south :D
     
  9. Bassnbeans

    Bassnbeans Fishical Therapist
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    Don’t do it.
    Dirty water down there.
    And absolutely choked with eel grass!

    LOL!
     
  10. dj thrillz

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    True, but there are fish here ;)
     
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  11. Fisher not a catcher

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    haha I would move back south but my wife and I work in vista/Carlsbad and we like the 5 min work commute.
     
  12. Fisher not a catcher

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    I have seen some of your posts and I would be honored to meet up with you even if I skunk again. I will probably be wearing dark green shorts and a black northface windbreaker.
     
  13. spicymayo

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    My go-to for surf fishing is light tackle. 1/4oz bullet c-rig with 18" 6lb flouro leader with a size 6 circle. Cast it into the wash and let the passing waves do the work. It helps if there's obvious structure but I've caught fish where everything looks the same too. Patience to not reel in and cast again helps. I only start reeling in when the current pushes the weight too much to my side or when there is slack. I hardly wade out past my calf.
     
  14. K-Bo Smack

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    Bright blue sun hoodie with tan over-shoulder pack & green crab net. Hope to see you on the beach.
     
  15. Bassnbeans

    Bassnbeans Fishical Therapist
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    Well, that skunk is as good as broke, then!
     
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  16. Fisher not a catcher

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    So met up with K-bo smack this morning and had a great time. He confirmed a few things I had learned and gave me a few new things as well. Finally got the skunk off too.

    One thing, those blood worms really get their attention. The other thing that he showed me was that when the current gets real strong, the fish move out of the cast zone making it harder to find them. That might have been part of my problem the last few times as the surf seemed kinda strong.

    He also fixed some of my bait presentation issues and pointed out some good spots he recommended.

    We only got a few small ones, but enough to keep the discouragement away. The 2 pictures are the same fish. 20190817_091217.jpg IMG_20190817_091224.jpg


    I want to say how appreciative I am of everyone on this forum. You all are very friendly and generous with you time and knowledge/experience. Special thanks to K-bo Smack for helping me out this morning.

    As a last item, I will pay it forward with my tip. Buy one of those garden sprayers and fill it with water. Then when you get back to your car, you can wash the sand off your feet a lot easier. I just sat on the tailgate of my truck, washed my feet, dried with a towel and went home pretty much sand free. I use it all the time to rinse off things where I can't get a garden hose. One of the best things I ever bought. 20190817_101421.jpg
     
  17. Fisher not a catcher

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    Also, Chris it was nice to meet you too.
     
  18. Bassnbeans

    Bassnbeans Fishical Therapist
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    What’d I say?!?
     
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  19. Chriwilson

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    Likewise Eric !

    Glad to hear your skunk got broke free. I found it a bit challenging with the surf and current being so strong. I started with a 1/2oz slider but then quickly jumped to 2oz to give me more casting distance and to help stay in the zone.

    I’m down in TP for the most part, but I usually have good results at Ponto.
     
  20. Fisher not a catcher

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    yea, when I left around 1030, the waves were getting big and you could really feel the water pulling hard around your legs. seemed worse in front of the parking area, more calm towards Grandview. We caught the little guys about 30-50 yards south from where the cliffs meet the parking lot.
     
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