Brown Bait

af dreamer

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Apr 16, 2007
4,094
1,717
113
long beach,ca
Name
tom
Boat
44 luhrs dreamer
They used to wrap in the harbors.They dont do it anymore to chance ripping the nets.Billy Verna knew where all the bad crap was.Lost art.I saw Billy wrapping bait in the channel just down from Berth 55 one AM.Tom
 
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HighWildFree

Well-Known "Member"
Feb 16, 2018
445
537
93
OC
Name
Erik
Boat
Moooo!
How well do they fish compared to sardine? I was jigging up a bunch of Baits at the bait barge a few weeks ago.
 
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fishkilr

on the water
Aug 27, 2012
2,710
3,221
113
long beach,ca.u.s.a.
Name
alby
Boat
None
Nothing like it for structure bass fishing..
We always made our brown on the beach .. when it came up in the net it looks like gold and nothing excited me more ..
Tomcods especially the smaller ones which we called knotheads were best but herrings were almost as good and any size herring was killer.
Usually a few pompano would be mixed in and they would get crushed also..
The great thing about brown bait is even if conditions were off including current you could still have epic days fishin as they couldn't resist...almost like magic
Back then all the local stones in del Rey had double digit fish on em and we could count on getting at least one if we had brown.
When fishin the bait dock the brown in the wells would light up the spotties..
The herring disappeared and that seemed to be the end of the brown bait era . .
We took it to the island many times but the bass in the kelp just didn't respond the same as they did in the bay..
We fished halibut with herring in the bay but norm kagawa showed me that taking herring to the sandspit at nic in the spring could produce the most unreal halibut fishin I'd ever seen..
Man do I miss brown bait...
 

HoxFish

Family Crest - My Lure is True
Jan 17, 2007
695
277
63
A daydream about fish
Name
Aaron
Boat
Moo
How well do they fish compared to sardine? I was jigging up a bunch of Baits at the bait barge a few weeks ago.
When the smelt weren't around, used to toss out whatever would bite muscles. Bottom fish (halibut and bass) loved em back/tail hooked (tomcod, sargo, mullet, etc.). We never did fly line them tho.
 
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dEDGE

Tuna Slayer
Aug 12, 2018
77
100
33
Torrance, CA
Name
SteveO
Boat
American Angler
I used to catch tomcods off the Redondo barge back in the day. Bagged them, froze them and brought them out with me for halibut drifts on the Special. Pure candy.
 
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May 6, 2004
342
231
43
65
Newport
Name
Dave
Boat
28 Farallon HOOKED
Back in the 80s we bought brown bait off a small bait boat called Scotty in Santa Monica bay. He would scoop it right out of the water while his nets were still in. He would fill our tank and we would fish the BKR area with it. Never seen bass come up and crash like that since. Unbelievable bass fishing up there and anchored up on the Santa Monica Wreck as well. There were some other smaller rocks we would anchor on too. We had so many break offs on those big bass. Occasionally yellowtail and White Sea bass would bite them. Halibut too. Some of the best flyline bait I’ve ever used.
 

T.O.T.W.

Time On The Water
Dec 23, 2005
934
1,121
93
San Diego
Name
Chris L
Boat
Leo's
Nothing like it for structure bass fishing..
We always made our brown on the beach .. when it came up in the net it looks like gold and nothing excited me more ..
Tomcods especially the smaller ones which we called knotheads were best but herrings were almost as good and any size herring was killer.
Usually a few pompano would be mixed in and they would get crushed also..
The great thing about brown bait is even if conditions were off including current you could still have epic days fishin as they couldn't resist...almost like magic
Back then all the local stones in del Rey had double digit fish on em and we could count on getting at least one if we had brown.
When fishin the bait dock the brown in the wells would light up the spotties..
The herring disappeared and that seemed to be the end of the brown bait era . .
We took it to the island many times but the bass in the kelp just didn't respond the same as they did in the bay..
We fished halibut with herring in the bay but norm kagawa showed me that taking herring to the sandspit at nic in the spring could produce the most unreal halibut fishin I'd ever seen..
Man do I miss brown bait...
When I was a young whippersnapper fishing a brown bait a few rows back in the kelp was the sure ticket for a nice calico. If you were in good with the crew, they'd usually fish one out of the tank for you if they had 'em--especially if you put it to good use.
I do think that bass like sardines just as much if not more. And when sardines became the staple bait in the late '80s/early '90s, boy, did the large-size calico population take a beating!
 

swami 805

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Mar 9, 2016
2,766
3,091
113
65
805
Name
Bill
Boat
sunk it
We used to get it herring here in Santa Barbara. Nothing got the bass going better. Twilight trips to the 2 shallow rigs that used to be off Summerland, worked better than squid.
Still jig up a couple pieces now and then but nothing like the shoals of it that were right off the beach
 

FishinMcNuggets

Fishin fo' Nutrition!
Oct 25, 2010
952
542
93
Hermosa Beach, CA
Name
Mike
Boat
Avon 2.85 "C-¢"
I always loved seeing brown bait because it was such a cool mix of stuff. I'd see tiny macks in the wells, of course whitefish and queenfish, but sometimes there were mini fish. WSB fry, tiny calicos, all sortsa fun stuff. Porky checkerboards around PV loved a queenfish on the edge of the kelp. I got smoked at the Hermosa reef on a queenfish trying to fish grandpa's old steel bass rod with a knucklebuster. 'Buts love em too!
 
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pacificscout

Hey! You got any frozen ice?
Jul 28, 2012
2,443
1,598
113
Fullerton
Name
Wally
Boat
16ft Scout EMBUSTERO
I was on an Albacore trip out of H+M early or late 90s'.
It's all a blur.
Tanks were loaded with anchovies and we were catching some.
I saw a small brown bait in the well and pinned it on and tossed out.
Bit!!!
Found another and asked deckhand on bait tank to keep an eye out for more.
Everyone i used got bit.
i quietly fished them all until there were no more.
Never will forget it.
They kinda looked like goby/sculpin kinda thing.
 
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fishkilr

on the water
Aug 27, 2012
2,710
3,221
113
long beach,ca.u.s.a.
Name
alby
Boat
None
Forgot to mention what we called 7-11 perch that were in the mix...never knew their true name but they were colored like bolinas but smaller and more perch shaped..they deserve mentioning because bass could not refuse em...when we had just a few u could use em over and over til they were completely destroyed ,dead or alive didn't matter..
Haven't seen em mixed in the bait for many years.
Apparently they were also the secret to the yellows at the bubble hole...
 
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mogambosquid

Well-Known "Member"
Oct 31, 2004
570
376
63
Carpinteria, CA, Chiriqui, Panama
Name
Greg
Boat
22' panga, 24' diesel inboard
We used to get it herring here in Santa Barbara. Nothing got the bass going better. Twilight trips to the 2 shallow rigs that used to be off Summerland, worked better than squid.
Still jig up a couple pieces now and then but nothing like the shoals of it that were right off the beach
I remember!
Also nothing like a tank of brown and a run to Naples, Tajiguas and Conception on the Seahawk with Merit!
Some double digit bass up the coast
 

Kareem Korn

Muffin Monster
Feb 17, 2005
4,963
941
113
State of Confusion
Name
Tim
Boat
Longboard, 15' Calibogie ("Bogart")
Yes, standing on the tanks throwing bait. Always kept an eye on the brown bait (calico candy). Only went to the select fisherman. Small butterfish too.
I haven't seen that bait south of LB. and not since the 80's.
 
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Workplacesafety

Reducing workplace injuries and illnesses
Feb 20, 2010
3,166
2,378
113
Long Beach Ca.
Name
Jeff Bruner
Boat
14ft Valco, San Diego Long Range Boats
Good yellowtail bite out on the Horseshoe back in the summer, very early 70's cant remember exactly which year. Nothing but anchovy for bait back then. The boats that did the best had the brown bait.

Very few Macs available locally back then, don't know why. But we did have some queenfish, tom cod, 7-11 perch as mentioned above, and some sort of pompano. Some fish we caught with the chovies, but the limited number of alternative bait was much better on touch bite days. Best days they hit the yo-yo and surface iron. That was fun.