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.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 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.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...
I remember!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