Bay Bass Techniques, post yours too!

FishinMcNuggets

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  • Oct 25, 2010
    1,244
    845
    Hermosa Beach, CA
    Name
    Mike
    Boat
    Avon 2.85 "C-¢"
    As previously stated, I like spotties.

    I will go over the evolution of my techniques, unorthodox as they may be sometimes. After all, we've heard enough of the Coronavirus, right? Ninja bass fishing is one of the best ways to try to NOT see any people.

    So, it started when I was a wee laddie...

    I first heard of spotties from Millie Sands. She said..."any chartreuse jigs off the rocks". So I tried it. I don't think it worked, so I asked for advice, and stumbled onto these dark worms with a glow in the dark tail. I T-rigged. And started connecting with grumpy spots. I loved the calm intensity of it. Dragggg.....stop. Reel slack. Repeat. I knew others that fished the harbors with the Worm king tails, but they seemed to fish too fast, and not catch enough spots. I upped it to putting scent on the worms.

    Then I discovered Lakeland lures. Me and a bud sank some cash into full bags of fishy tail things to later become "wham fisheez" Smoke with glitter was my fave of all the colors we ordered. I ordered custom heads from Pete for these things. 3/8 oz from leadmasters. I dropped from 6lb to 4, to 2, and then to 3lb line. And then back to 4 & 6. All Maxima green. I was hooked. For college, I took a live bass to class for a speech. When I lipped him during the speech he got pissed, and kicked his tail, wetting the class 2 people deep from where I stood. I released him right after my spanish class. Mrs. Galdamez was cool with me plugging the aerator in to the socket for the duration of class. I was busted off before I caught him, he was between 1- 1.5 lbs. Coolest thing about this style of fishing was the bycatch... the very occasional legal halibut!

    As I started pinning on boats I picked up another technique that covered ground quicker. The scrounger!!! This leadhead is still made. The tails looked like they had straight aluminum dust in them. I fished scroungers successfully for many things, but I was surprised at the summer spotty response to them. In clear water you could see a deep brown "flash" as they turned on them. One of my two best spots ever was on one fished in a little harbor corner under a light. 3 lbs, on a 6lb bass setup which was a custom triggerstick Sabre I had made... specifically for the spotties.
    Coolest thing about the scrounger head is it digs in deep to the water, so it was right in the zone. They are still made, and I think they'd go good with zoom fluke tails.

    During my first marriage I forayed into doing the Newport thing a little. I found some spots that worked for spots, and kayaked and rented the little boats they had there. Had some good days just dumping a c-rigged live chovy off the bait barge. Found that they'd eat the same curly tails that my home waters worked with. Fished SD once too under the bridge, discovered that bass bit more when they hear Santana songs from motor yachts. J/K.

    Second marriage, I started fishing more. A fishing buddy and myself discovered that the same camo sandworms for perch worked well for ....wait, hold your breath....Spotties! I tried the curly powerbait powergrubs too, to some success. I used mostly jigheads for decent success. Honestly my friend has since gone over to the complicated side. Drop shot. I have not. Too hardware intensive for me.

    I kept with the same things until somewhat recently. I did stumble onto a weird day with one of my kids where the barometer was going up in the evening, and we got a trifecta in really short order on crappie jigs with Calico Cocktail.

    I found shortly after that a personal favorite. AA single tail grub, sparkle greenback chovy color. Second best spot about 2.5 waiting to leave the dock on the Enterprise.

    So, my home waters as of a couple years back were producing just juvy grass rockfish. I kinda stopped fishing them for a bit until recently returning to find a healthy bass population! I took my kids. Now, I know stealthy. My approach to ninja bass fishing has always been going light. A fanny pack or a fabric creel, or ziplock baggy. Dark clothes. Fast shoes. And always being on the lookout. I try to impress the same on my kids, and anyone that goes. Any time you have more than two people, stealth just kind goes out the door, though, so we've been "guarded" outta there a couple times recently.

    But most recent adventures with the kids have given me a fresh technique. You get a snack baggy, and fill it with frozen squid strips. Not just any, but Isoceles triangles about 3-5 inches long. You T-rig with a mosquito hook, and 3/8 oz or less of lead. 1/2 oz or more and you start to wake the liveaboards, which is a whole 'nother pot'o coffee. You pin the thick end of the isoceles once or twice, and then work low and slow like a t-rigged worm. when you hit the first rock at the edge of the basin, you reel up. Note, you get bycatch with this thing. Trifectas are not unheard of. And make sure the mosquito eye doesn't hang up in your sinker. Worm sinkers are king here, tiny holes... if you must use an egg, use a bead.

    Come on guys,
    Post up your Techniques!
     
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    FishinMcNuggets

    I've edited enough I should section this post.
  • Oct 25, 2010
    1,244
    845
    Hermosa Beach, CA
    Name
    Mike
    Boat
    Avon 2.85 "C-¢"
    'Nuff of the virus stuff. Go fish. Today's non bass pic...

    20200314_164408.jpg
     
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    fishkilr

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
    Aug 27, 2012
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    long beach,ca.u.s.a.
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    alby
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    Started fishin em on our bait dock in del rey ...lots of slugs there so no less than 20lb completely locked drag 4/0 hook and 90% of the time flylining a brown bait under all the docks...they would eat sardines too but not as well..did that for alot of years and caught alot of huge ones..
    Now its 15 lb 1/8 oz. Slider and 7" white flukes under docks with a 4/0 worm hook...
    It's incredible how small a spot can be and gulp that setup..
     
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    FishinMcNuggets

    I've edited enough I should section this post.
  • Oct 25, 2010
    1,244
    845
    Hermosa Beach, CA
    Name
    Mike
    Boat
    Avon 2.85 "C-¢"
    Now its 15 lb 1/8 oz. Slider and 7" white flukes under docks with a 4/0 worm hook...
    It's incredible how small a spot can be and gulp that setup..

    I agree. I used to marvel at spots taking whole worms intended for green bass.

    Now that you're not in MDR, have you been doing King Harbor, or some part of Long Beach? You feel that they fish differently?
     
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    FishinMcNuggets

    I've edited enough I should section this post.
  • Oct 25, 2010
    1,244
    845
    Hermosa Beach, CA
    Name
    Mike
    Boat
    Avon 2.85 "C-¢"
    No secret here, 3” grubs have worked for me for years. Root beer flake and pumpkin are my go to colors. Motor oil and salt and pepper work good at times also. Smoke or gray leader works best for me usually 12# if I’m on the water.



    I have to agree. Seems to me that they love stuff with curly tails. I honestly wouldn't prefer something with a paddle.
    You guys fishing exclusively at night, or day bassing too? Any approach difference?
     
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    fishkilr

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
    Aug 27, 2012
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    long beach,ca.u.s.a.
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    alby
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    I agree. I used to marvel at spots taking whole worms intended for green bass.

    Now that you're not in MDR, have you been doing King Harbor, or some part of Long Beach? You feel that they fish differently?
    In del rey I only targeted big fish and stayed around the bait dock and had unlimited bait at my disposal including brown bait which the larger fish cant resist...
    Had the skiff in King harbor and unlimited bait but it didnt have the volume of the bigger spots but had awesome calico volume and quality on sardine...
    Dont have a bait option in long beach but there is a huge volume of all size fish throughout the harbor but have to ninja fish most places during the day cause of the law..
    At night I try to get a ride with a friend to fish the wall which can be awesome for all types...
     
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    woodfish330

    I Should Upgrade My Account
  • Aug 14, 2012
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    San Fransisco,CA USA
    Name
    John
    Boat
    Fishead
    In the day....we would skiff fish in Newport for Em all the time. Scrounger, even bottom kicking "wiggle warts" did the trick... depending on the locations. Between the docks swim baits. If we were moving... or searching, we would slowly drive between the anchored boats on the moorings use that freshwater bass lure. Got halibut, bay bass, calicos, even a "ray" or two. Used painted chrome.. (black or blue top / chrome belly) when sunny.... and muted darker colors when overcast. Weaned on those bay bass.....good fighters too. Yet like "fishkilr" said above.... brown bait... anything live kicks butt. They will also eat mussel / razor clams/ blood worms etc. even squid strips. Opportunistic feeder for sure. Good luck!
     
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    fshholc

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    Jul 18, 2005
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    Jay
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    sold
    30 yrs fishing the back bay in San Diego. Lots of 8-12" fish with occasional 14-16". I've used almost every style of plastics, along with spinners baits and crank baits. What I found was that spotties will eat almost anything that moves, in any color. Bought some really strange plastics online that worked to some degree.
    A few years back we had a chain of tackle stores here in S.D. called Bob's. I had been buying their AAA grubs for some time and now I lost my source. I took the package down to Ken's Custom Reel in Oceanside and asked Ken if he could get them. Company was in Alabama. They told him they would only send bulk. I asked the price and it was only $95 so I said do it. Shipment comes in a week later. 6"X12"X24" box full of Root beer, black flaked grubs, probably close to a thousand. Used those exclusively for many years until I started using ghost shrimp paddle tails and curly tails in lighter colors with orange bellies later on. Still have a few.
    Some of my observations:
    1. Bulk of the small fish seem to be in the shallower water. 3-6'
    2. Bigger fish close to pilings and deep water edges. 10-14"'
    3. Work slow where you can. Clam beds are clean fishing areas, work them really slow, bouncing off the bottom.
    4. Fishing grass beds are frustrating but very productive.
    5. Crank and let sink is the common practice for me.
    6. Mostly 1/4 oz red leadheads because I fish shallow water. Heavier in deeper water.
    6. Seasonal bait spawns can cause great top water fishing.
    Don't have the experience in other bays but I'm sure it's pretty much the same story.
    Fish I've caught in the S.D. Back Bay: Spotties, Sandbass, Halibut, Corvina,
    Bonefish, Yellowfin Croaker, Smelt, Mackeral, Stingrays, Batrays, Bonito, Lizardfish, Gray sharks and probably a few others that I can't remember.
    Sold my boat a year ago but still have fond memories of that style of fishng.
     
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    FishinMcNuggets

    I've edited enough I should section this post.
  • Oct 25, 2010
    1,244
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    Hermosa Beach, CA
    Name
    Mike
    Boat
    Avon 2.85 "C-¢"
    Gulp:
    I used to use the swimming mullets to some success. Dark colors.
    I saw some kids fishing by the harbor patrol office recently in KH that swore by the gulp squids.

    30 yrs fishing the back bay ...
    Fish I've caught in the S.D. Back Bay: Spotties, Sandbass, Halibut, Corvina,
    Bonefish, Yellowfin Croaker, Smelt, Mackeral, Stingrays, Batrays, Bonito, Lizardfish, Gray sharks and probably a few others that I can't remember.

    Awesome variety of bycatch options there... good times, I'm sure.
     
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    fishkilr

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
    Aug 27, 2012
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    long beach,ca.u.s.a.
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    alby
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    Gulp:
    I used to use the swimming mullets to some success. Dark colors.
    I saw some kids fishing by the harbor patrol office recently in KH that swore by the gulp squids.



    Awesome variety of bycatch options there... good times, I'm sure.
    Never fished sd harbor hard but del rey has an unbelievable number of different species also.seen the little needle fish everywhere in long beach recently but I saw the giant needle fish under the bait dock feeding in del rey way back when..seen salmon cruising in there also..
    Had a buddy get 4 eight to 12 llb stripers in about 2 hours in his slip in the back of king harbor ..
    I know for the last few years in sd harbor there is enough volume that you can target bonefish ..that's awesome .
     
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    zoner

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    Apr 17, 2018
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    I fish spotties from shore in Mission Bay basically every day(retired living in MB). This time of year I use a 3" Slimswimz t-rigged on a 1/0 Owner J hook or a Gamakatsu G-lock worm hook(1/0) with a 1/4 or 3/8 worm sinker fished real slow right on the bottom. Later in the spring and summer when the fish are willing to chase a bait more I fish the same bait rigged on a 1/4 oz Zman Trout Eye jighead or a 3/8 Big Hammer jighead using countdown method to keep the jighead swimming right at the tips of the eelgrass.
     
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    Tranquility

    Tranquility
    Mar 13, 2004
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    Bryan
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    Century 3200WA
    For years as a kid in San Diego I fished around the docks of Shelter island. My goto was a green gitzit bounced off the bottom. Lots of bycatch sandies and the occasional halibut. Simple and very effective.
     

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    James Taylor

    Question Everything
    Jan 7, 2019
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    Cypress, Ca
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    James Taylor
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    Sportboats
    Spotties: 3 “ Berkley gulp shrimp in new penny/new penny fleck color on a 3/8 oz leadhead. 15 lb seaguar fluoro at night in harbors, docks and marinas. Drag the jig on the bottom slowly while taking 5 second pauses every once in a while. They will attack the jig while it’s just sitting there not moving and you will see your slack line jumping around. I always cast up current and drag the jig with the current. Also 90% of my fish/bites, when dock fishing, the line to the jig is almost vertical. The bass are directly under the dock/next to pillars. Also spotties bite a lot better at night. Berkley gulp shrimp has been a game changer (Not affiliated with berkley/pure fishing). They get bit so much better than regular plastics. The most fish in one night and my pb bass has all been on a gulp. Good luck
     
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    bassnet

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    Man those little wham baits were legit, killed it at San V and Castaic too on them. Shad raps ticking the eel grass in the back of SD bay and blades in MB, so much fun. One of my favorites for spotties around riprap/ jetties is a spider jig on a football head or t-rigged. Yamamoto pumpkin green/black flake (#196), basically an orange bait, and watermelon always seem to get bit. Thanks for the post McNug :devil:
    Dang I can't get on this ned rig thing, but that probably mirrors a razor clam really good. Too many slow presentations in the sweet water, I like to fish a little faster in the salt I guess
     
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    HighWildFree

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    When I had my skiff I would fish Newport harbor all the time. Use to get the larger spotties using a squid head on a 1/2 oz to 3/4 oz slider rig. Usually fishing under the bait barge or a patch of eel grass.
     
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    bassnet

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    Fished SD bay last week, my boy killed it on the dark sleeper!
    Dang, haven't jumped on that bait yet either- tempted! Megabass is legit, responsible for stupid credit card purchases here... but man their baits produce. Just not sure what the dark sleeper does that any other bait couldn't do?

    Liking the squid techniques you guys have put out there, my neighbor has been getting some nice sandies, spotted and barred, out of Newport lately on frozen squid
     
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    bassnet

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    those same fish would eat a spider jig too, just my 2 cents. Still want to try that bait though
    First fell for the Megabass Trick Darter probably 15 years ago... quality from that brand is hard to match-
     
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