Surf-newbie skunked again, but almost successful

Discussion in 'Surf, Piers, & Jetties' started by cort, Aug 13, 2020.

  1. cort

    cort Active Member

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    Went back out to Torrey tonight on my quest to learn to fish saltwater, for corbina. Showed up around 5:00, which was right as high tide was coming in.

    Didn't have any action till the tide started going out. Around 7pm I had a huge hit, set the hook - fish on! First time ever! Battled him for about 20 seconds, but eventually my leader broke. Saw the fish in the surf - felt like he was laughing at me. Oh, the shame! Fish looked pretty good size, I'd estimate 20 inches, felt pretty heavy on the line too. Lesson learned(?) - drag too tight on 6 pound fluro leader, apparently.

    Loosened drag - baited back up a sand crab. Had found a pretty decent bed of them, I should add. Threw back out into the same area, just before the breakers past the crab bed. 10 minutes later, a second hit! Set the hook - fish didn't feel nearly as big, but very energetic. This time, once again - leader broke - but I wasn't feeling that much pressure on the line - so I'm not sure what exactly the deal was. No toothy critters in the surf, are there? Reminds me of what it's like to hook a small pike in freshwater, they just cut mono as easily as scissors. Not having a ton of confidence in this fluro leader line I got at squidco. :( The first one was my mistake with the drag, but on the second one I really have no idea what was up.

    By this time, the sun was going down, but since there was action I was determined to stay. Got two more hits - but missed the hook set on both. By that point it was almost pitch black out. Moon wasn't up and it's certainly dark when you're behind those cliffs! Anyway I could barely see to hook sand crabs - I need a head lamp. Wasn't doing a great job hooking them, but believe I got two more hits after twilight. Could have just been that they were poorly hooked and came off in the surf, too. So short version is - skunked again, but if I'd played my cards a bit better, could have had at least one nice fish. Damn!
     
  2. Werfless

    Werfless The Coach ..RIP my friends
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    Mono is more forgiving with knots
     
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  3. PyroFox79

    PyroFox79 Well-Known Member

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    I was at the Del Mar Dog beach (not sure the real name but thats what I call it) yesterday with a similar thing. Got hit, it pulled drag. Fought it for 20 seconds then it just spit the hook out. Still figuring out this sand crab thing I guess
     
  4. Dry Fly Rie

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    Sounds like something I've done before...lost a big fish to a break off and then after re-tying, quickly lost another one. I'm guessing it might have been a poorly-tied knot on your hook/tackle. We've all been guilty of it. Especially when the adrenaline is pumping from battling something big that gets away. You get a little excited and don't do a great job tying the new hook on. Then, another fish hits and the knot comes undone.

    I'm not saying that's what happened for you. I just know that I've done that exact thing on more than one occasion.

    Stick with it. The payoff is totally worth it when fish start hitting the sand for you.
     
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  5. cort

    cort Active Member

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    I'm pretty adept with the palomar knot,, it looked like a clean break both times. Unless it broke right above the knot, which I suppose is possible. I haven't used much fluoro in the past, just mono and braided (for the aforementioned pike!)
     
  6. Werfless

    Werfless The Coach ..RIP my friends
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    Don't be afraid to change up your rig.. consistent breakoffs are a sign that things aren't well somewhere.. knots, drag, rod pressure and action, hook strength, line type and strength or it's ability to hold a knot.. all these factors and more influence how hard you can pull on a rig... Many surf sharks and rays (and forget about corvina fangs etc) have sandpaper like teeth.. they chew on six lb, well.. and that's not counting things like halibut, angel or soupfin sharks that have real teeth...
     
  7. cort

    cort Active Member

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    If the knot unraveled, with fluoro - would you see the crinkling/wrinkled line at the end? It looked like someone just snipped it off. This is only 6# test, mind you. I'm pretty sure on the first one, at least, it was just the drag.
     
  8. Werfless

    Werfless The Coach ..RIP my friends
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    I mean... There are so many factors.. and let's face it, sometimes fish break us all off. No fisherman is immune I have ever heard of...
     
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  9. barepixels

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    Are all 6# test the same? Sorry if that is a silly question but maybe some brand is accurate in their label or have better quality control
     
    #9 barepixels, Aug 14, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2020
  10. Werfless

    Werfless The Coach ..RIP my friends
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    It has been my experience that most line manufacturers underrate line breakage by at least a few percent. Some manufacturers it seems like a huge amount (yo zuri hybrid), some it seems very close (Ande tournament)...
     
  11. B8DHOOK

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    I’m not sure how you play your fish, but sometimes in the heat of excitement, we feel the need to button down and horse the fish in.. it’s not a race to see how fast you can land the fish. ( unless you’re trying to keep it from diving into rocks / kelp, or a seal is hot on its tail ). Once you’ve got a good hookset, back off and let the fish tire itself out.. let the rod load up and tire the fish out for you. Have fun with it, it’s not going anywhere unless you start panicking. Just something to think about..
     
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  12. Jenx

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    Remember, you only want to fight the fish not the current.

    Once you reel the fish into skinny water you need to pay attention to which direction the water is going. If a wave just hit, and the water is receding back into the ocean you don't want to continue reeling the fish in, because now you are fighting both the fish and the water that is trying to pull the fish back out to sea.

    Once you have the fish close, wait for the next wave to come in, and then start reeling quickly. This way the wave will help you push the fish ashore, instead of working against you.

    Also I would dump the fluro. This isn't a crystal clear lake. I've done most of my surf fishing with 8lb mono, and it has worked just fine for me. Plus you will be glad you went with 8lb instead of 6lb the next time you hook up with a salad monster.
     
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  13. Midnightpass

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    Another thing for fishermen new to the surf...' Check for knots in yor leader... The surf can tie knots faster than I can... I check after every few cast... The knot will decrease your breaking strength by at least 1/2 (Just guessing, I'm no engineer :emoji_rolling_eyes:)... You would be surprised how often the surf does this...

    Butch
     
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  14. cort

    cort Active Member

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    This is a good tip, I've already had it happen a couple times! Can't even see them in the bright sunlight unless you run your fingers down the leader and feel the bump.
     
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  15. Midnightpass

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    I agree.... I also love Yozuri Hybrid Ultra Soft.... I wish that they would put it back on the market... I'm down to my last roll of #6... Best stuff ever....
    Butch
     
  16. cort

    cort Active Member

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    Well fellas, it seems that fourth time is the charm - I went back out to Torrey for the fourth time in five days and finally managed to land some fish. Special thanks to new fishing buddy Alex for teaching me a few things and the company - but I landed a dinner plate sized stingray - and then later, to my eternal satisfaction - an actual corbina - I suppose around 14 to 16 inches. Not a huge one, but respectable!

    Going to take tomorrow off and maybe go out again on Sunday!
     
  17. ayopierre

    ayopierre Active Member

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    Hi nice to hear you finally landed something. A ray on a sandcrab? or what did you hook the ray on?
    I use a heavy duty set up. I am running 17lb mono when I surf fish and I do just fine. I think sometimes people focus too closely on the details of line size.. At the end of the day there was a lot of sand / water bubbles / foam / seawood / debris in the water constantly getting kicked around so a little difference in line lb# shouldn't make a difference. I prefer the 17lb because I like the insurance if I hook something decent size like a big ray or a shark. That type of fight is what I live for
     
  18. cort

    cort Active Member

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    Yeah, just a sandcrab for the ray. It wasn't very big. Somehow still managed to be menacing while I was trying to get it back into the water. Was trying to stab me real hard! This ray was probably 8 inches from wingtip to wingtip and at one point, it decided to bury itself in the sand, in about 4 inches of water during the retrieve. Amazing how hard it was to get off the bottom at that point! I can't imagine how impossible a big one would be to get out of that state, geez!
     
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