Inshore New SoCal Fisherman/ 6-1-21 Fishing Report (Dana Point)

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JakeFerguson

Newbie
  • Feb 13, 2021
    17
    54
    21
    Southern California
    Name
    Jake Ferguson
    Boat
    Striper 220 Center Console
    Hey everyone, I'll start off giving a brief intro about myself so you all can all see my current situation. Me and my dad just joined a boat club out of Dana Point that has 3 boats, a 22 center console, a 23 dual console, and a 24 center console. We took out the 22 for our first fishing trip yesterday morning hoping to target any inshore fish species. Left the harbor around 9 and had glassy seas on our way to our coordinates (which we got from Your Saltwater Fishing Guide). Lots of mackerel boils on the way there, but no birds diving. Got to the spot, which was near San Onofre, and started to try and mark fish. Being our first time fishing on the boat, we had difficulties maneuvering the boat on the coordinates and finding fish. Fast forward about 5 hours, and we ended up trying multiple spots ranging from Domes to Headlands, but due to our lack of experience, we didn't catch anything. I believe it is mostly because we hard a difficult time positioning ourselves on top of the structure we saw, and by the time we did see it on the fish finder, it was gone. Anyways, we are both new to saltwater fishing (from a private boat) and any advice would be helpful. Whether it relates to fishing, staying on location/structure, positioning a boat, etc, I'm all ears. I appreciate anyone who read through this whole post. After about a year of wishful thinking, me and my dad finally have the opportunity to go inshore and offshore fishing. I'll continue to post reports, updates, and ask questions the more I go fish. Once again, any advice for a new private boat fisherman (range: Long Beach/Oceanside/Catalina) would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, and have a good day.
     

    scbassmaster

    twin22s
    Sep 8, 2006
    412
    568
    35
    san clemente
    Name
    Brian
    Boat
    "I'm in the market, as it were" - Jack Sparrow
    It seems like you are off to a great start, boat club and yoursaltwaterguide membership, boat positioning is something that comes with practice. Also easier with steady and predictable wind and current. Knowing how far upwind to drop the anchor and what direction are things easier learned by being shown in person and practice. The local reefs and kelp beds are usually not super spot specific, the northwest side is usually the best, anchor upwind and let out more rope if needed to get backed up to the weeds and start chumming and fishing. There is obviously a lot more to it and different techniques and locations to try depending on your target but after you have learned all you can from the internet try to find a guy to pitch in some gas/bait money, go fishing with you and show you a few things... PM me ;)
     

    clevel

    Skipper
  • Jun 4, 2011
    1,200
    996
    Laguna Niguel
    Name
    Cabo Jack
    Boat
    Cobia 261
    Did you have your course tracking on the chart plotter switched on? You should have your MFD on the combo setting with sonar and chart plotter on side by side. Once you are on your fishing spot put your engine in neutral and let your boat drift for about fifty feet, your chart plotter will show you the direction you are drifting and you can re-position your boat about 30 ft. uphill accordingly, drop your anchor and let your anchor line out until you have drifted over your fishing spot and tie the anchor line down. You are now ready to fish!
     

    Tunahead

    Long Time Tuna Abused Member
  • Aug 11, 2006
    9,201
    3,164
    Costa Mesa
    Name
    Ron
    Boat
    several
    Great 1st post and trip. TIME ON THE WATER will gain you confidence and catch some fish. Dave Hansen has good info, but when you get there, it's STILL FISHING. Spots are Spots. LOL
     
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    zing1402

    Member
  • Jul 13, 2020
    453
    1,152
    39
    yorba linda
    Name
    nick
    Boat
    which one
    those gps numbers dave gives you are not exact it get you pretty damn close but you still need to drive around and find the exact spot learn to you the finder so you can the structure you are trying to find. also the navionics app for your phone is a game changer for inshore stuff
     
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    mhanson59hb

    Fear No Fish
  • Apr 22, 2013
    2,269
    3,657
    Huntington Beach
    Name
    Mike
    Boat
    2008 Trophy 1802 "Mako My Day"
    What kind of bait were you using? Live bait is the key.

    Make a 3-way halibut rig with a stinger, pin on a big sardine or small mackie and drift the clam beds.....
     
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    Blackfish

    Marble collector.
    Sep 20, 2005
    6,362
    4,801
    My Backyard
    Name
    .
    Boat
    toy
    Good advice from Seabasmaster and Clevel
     
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    calbrewguy

    Member
    Jul 12, 2006
    708
    296
    69
    Costa Mesa
    Name
    Randy
    Boat
    None
    Be safe. File a float plan with someone near and dear. Be weather wise. Know your limits and stay within them. Have fun and the fishing will come with experience.
     
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    Steve Francis

    Member
    Sep 11, 2006
    370
    470
    --
    Name
    StephenKatSea
    Boat
    .--.
    A couple of 1/2 day trips out of Dana Point Sportfishing can be a great tutorial. Not to steal their fishing spots, but to learn some of the basics. I believe if you approach a crew member with your honest open attitude and ask them for advise they'll help you out. Simple stuff like bait handling and hooking, line size, sinker or not etc etc.
     
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    craig ito

    Almost A Member
    Dec 13, 2017
    130
    100
    45
    norwalk
    Name
    craig
    Boat
    seaswirl
    When I was first starting out I would use a marker (float with line and weight) and toss it over the structure when you meter lights up....then anchor up wind plenty and you can always scope back...may take a couple try’s but you will have a floating visual were you want to be...current and wind will usually determine where you want to drop...need to learn you meter and what your looking at...gps will get you in area but need to meter around to get spot dialed in...good luck, you will get em next time...
     
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    JakeFerguson

    Newbie
  • Feb 13, 2021
    17
    54
    21
    Southern California
    Name
    Jake Ferguson
    Boat
    Striper 220 Center Console
    Did you have your course tracking on the chart plotter switched on? You should have your MFD on the combo setting with sonar and chart plotter on side by side. Once you are on your fishing spot put your engine in neutral and let your boat drift for about fifty feet, your chart plotter will show you the direction you are drifting and you can re-position your boat about 30 ft. uphill accordingly, drop your anchor and let your anchor line out until you have drifted over your fishing spot and tie the anchor line down. You are now ready to fish!
    Yes we had the course tracking and sonar side by side. However once we got to the spot we couldn't figure out if we were drifting on top of the right structure. Because of this we only anchored a few times throughout the day because we weren't confident we were on the rock/reef/etc. I'm sure with more experience we'll get the hang of it. Thanks for the advice.
     
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    JakeFerguson

    Newbie
  • Feb 13, 2021
    17
    54
    21
    Southern California
    Name
    Jake Ferguson
    Boat
    Striper 220 Center Console
    When I was first starting out I would use a marker (float with line and weight) and toss it over the structure when you meter lights up....then anchor up wind plenty and you can always scope back...may take a couple try’s but you will have a floating visual were you want to be...current and wind will usually determine where you want to drop...need to learn you meter and what your looking at...gps will get you in area but need to meter around to get spot dialed in...good luck, you will get em next time..

    I think this is a great tactic. What would you use to make your makeshift buoys?
     
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    craig ito

    Almost A Member
    Dec 13, 2017
    130
    100
    45
    norwalk
    Name
    craig
    Boat
    seaswirl
    We had live sardines. Totally open to trying to drift for halibut, thanks for the tip. Where are the clam beds near?
    Can probably buy them for cheep, the ones I had back then were orange kinda flat and square, with line wrapped around it where it’s notched out, would just keep tumbling on top of water till hits bottom and lays flat, stops tumbling, maybe cabelas or bass pro shop...or can always rig your own up...1 liter bottle plenty of line 8 oz sinker...after hits bottom give another 10 feet and half hitch over cap...done, now I wanna go fish😳
     
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    Tunahead

    Long Time Tuna Abused Member
  • Aug 11, 2006
    9,201
    3,164
    Costa Mesa
    Name
    Ron
    Boat
    several
    Did you have your course tracking on the chart plotter switched on? You should have your MFD on the combo setting with sonar and chart plotter on side by side. Once you are on your fishing spot put your engine in neutral and let your boat drift for about fifty feet, your chart plotter will show you the direction you are drifting and you can re-position your boat about 30 ft. uphill accordingly, drop your anchor and let your anchor line out until you have drifted over your fishing spot and tie the anchor line down. You are now ready to fish!
    GOOD JOB WITH THE GREAT INFO FOR THIS USER
     
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    beerman1

    Almost A Member
    Jul 14, 2014
    187
    215
    OC
    Name
    eric
    Boat
    triumph 17 CC
    Go by Pacific Edge tackle in H/B and buy Mark’s book “Between two and twenty fathoms”... about everything you need to know for local inshore fishing is covered in depth.
     
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    JK155

    Newbie
  • Nov 8, 2019
    61
    167
    California
    Name
    John
    Boat
    Wellcraft 18 Fisherman
    I'm as new as it gets but I have learned so much reading these forums. After a dozen times out on the water, I feel like I'm starting to understand what works.

    I don't think I'll be castrated by the members since this was already posted but this link helped me start building my google map fishing coordinates.

    https://www.bdoutdoors.com/forums/t...ing-else-or-not-worth-it.621977/#post-4061169

    We use a lot of double dropper loops with squid or hammer lures. Bucktails don't seem to work for me.

    Stay safe and good luck.
     
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    SaltyPilot

    Newbie
    Feb 5, 2006
    93
    34
    Los Angeles/OC
    Name
    Salty
    Boat
    Salty Pilot
    I was at Dana Point this week and I think the boats for the club are Seaswirl's? There are several very useful replies above and in combination, it really comes down to time on the water and turns on the prop. Since you are a member of a club, you don't have to deal with any maintenance and not even cleaning, best thing for you and your dad to do is get out on the water and spend time learning every aspect of boating and reading your onboard electronics. To generalize your question, I would say you have to set out with a target specie in mind and a game plan. Fishing on any given day starts a day or more before the actual trip. Look at the tides, the swells, wind forecasts, swell/wind direction, water temp etc. There will be many days where you set out on a planned trip and while you are in route, your plans change because you spot birds and motor right into feeding Yellows, Barracuda's etc. That is the beauty and the secrets the Ocean holds. You just never know what you will encounter. Go out with a plan if you are looking for Rockfish, Bass, Halibut, etc. Of course you can also head on out with the 'catch anything that bites' plan but that for me always seems too vast as you don't know what direction to motor to and what depth what area etc. Reading a 'fish finder' has it's challenges as well. Setting up on a spot is not easy at all. If you are anchoring, you have to mind the direction of the wind, the swell direction, and your scope to your spot. My best advice to you and your dad is a couple of easier type of target fish. From Dana Point, you can exit the harbor and swing right. There are a several boiler rocks and further North, there are a ton of Kelp. Having said this, You need to do your homework. Since you are your own captain, you need to research and learn your MLPA Closures. There are several MLPA Closures you have to know and learn. It still surprises me there are so many avid anglers that don't even know what MLPA closures are. Do a search and there are a few Apps that will show you the areas that are closed. Along the kelp line, stay on the outside lanes since you are in a larger boat and fly line sardines, anchovies towards the kelp. From there, if you are targeting Halibut, drive out towards open water slowly and watch your meter. Look for areas of dense Red bottom and rocky meets more shallow Red bottom. Those are the areas where the bottom dynamics change and structure meets sand. Another great tool is use Google Earth and see what areas you would like to fish. You can always look for deeper water and there are available maps online showing some Rockfish areas. 8-16oz of weight, 2 hooks on a dropper loop. 1/0 size Owner Light Circle hooks and strips of Squid. You can't go wrong. Maintain bottom contact and stick some tasty table fair. Main thing as someone has said, be sure to have a float plan. Know your conditions and your limits. There really is more than what we can write here to help out a new boater and as much information as we would like to give you, it comes down to time on the water. Be safe out there and hope this gives you a place to start.
     
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    JakeFerguson

    Newbie
  • Feb 13, 2021
    17
    54
    21
    Southern California
    Name
    Jake Ferguson
    Boat
    Striper 220 Center Console
    I was at Dana Point this week and I think the boats for the club are Seaswirl's? There are several very useful replies above and in combination, it really comes down to time on the water and turns on the prop. Since you are a member of a club, you don't have to deal with any maintenance and not even cleaning, best thing for you and your dad to do is get out on the water and spend time learning every aspect of boating and reading your onboard electronics. To generalize your question, I would say you have to set out with a target specie in mind and a game plan. Fishing on any given day starts a day or more before the actual trip. Look at the tides, the swells, wind forecasts, swell/wind direction, water temp etc. There will be many days where you set out on a planned trip and while you are in route, your plans change because you spot birds and motor right into feeding Yellows, Barracuda's etc. That is the beauty and the secrets the Ocean holds. You just never know what you will encounter. Go out with a plan if you are looking for Rockfish, Bass, Halibut, etc. Of course you can also head on out with the 'catch anything that bites' plan but that for me always seems too vast as you don't know what direction to motor to and what depth what area etc. Reading a 'fish finder' has it's challenges as well. Setting up on a spot is not easy at all. If you are anchoring, you have to mind the direction of the wind, the swell direction, and your scope to your spot. My best advice to you and your dad is a couple of easier type of target fish. From Dana Point, you can exit the harbor and swing right. There are a several boiler rocks and further North, there are a ton of Kelp. Having said this, You need to do your homework. Since you are your own captain, you need to research and learn your MLPA Closures. There are several MLPA Closures you have to know and learn. It still surprises me there are so many avid anglers that don't even know what MLPA closures are. Do a search and there are a few Apps that will show you the areas that are closed. Along the kelp line, stay on the outside lanes since you are in a larger boat and fly line sardines, anchovies towards the kelp. From there, if you are targeting Halibut, drive out towards open water slowly and watch your meter. Look for areas of dense Red bottom and rocky meets more shallow Red bottom. Those are the areas where the bottom dynamics change and structure meets sand. Another great tool is use Google Earth and see what areas you would like to fish. You can always look for deeper water and there are available maps online showing some Rockfish areas. 8-16oz of weight, 2 hooks on a dropper loop. 1/0 size Owner Light Circle hooks and strips of Squid. You can't go wrong. Maintain bottom contact and stick some tasty table fair. Main thing as someone has said, be sure to have a float plan. Know your conditions and your limits. There really is more than what we can write here to help out a new boater and as much information as we would like to give you, it comes down to time on the water. Be safe out there and hope this gives you a place to start.
    This response was extremely helpful, thank you. The club we're in has the two stripers (22 and 23 feet) and a 24 foot Robalo. The downside is that there are more than 20 other members, so the weekends are usually booked up in advance. Gonna have to make time during the week to go fish. I'll continue to give updates after every trip. From all the responses I've got, the common piece of advice is time on the water. Thanks again.
     
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    JamesZ

    Newbie
    Jun 25, 2018
    51
    58
    43
    Montana
    Name
    James Zachary
    Boat
    Kenner 23
    When I was first starting out I would use a marker (float with line and weight) and toss it over the structure when you meter lights up....then anchor up wind plenty and you can always scope back...may take a couple try’s but you will have a floating visual were you want to be...current and wind will usually determine where you want to drop...need to learn you meter and what your looking at...gps will get you in area but need to meter around to get spot dialed in...good luck, you will get em next time...
    That's excellent advice. And once you get it figured out. You can still use a marker so you can pick the structure apart. Hit it at different angles, depth and presentation dependent. Especially those tiny shallower bass spots.
     
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    craig ito

    Almost A Member
    Dec 13, 2017
    130
    100
    45
    norwalk
    Name
    craig
    Boat
    seaswirl
    I started out in lobster season hunting my new spots...hint hint...find some little gems! Meter around drop a lead head with squid and hold on! Shallow and deep, sometimes flatties around the outskirts...don’t go chasing the party boats you’ll figure it out in time and learn more doing so...keep a journal especially when there biting, because if you come across similar conditions on a different day that spot might be on again..uphill downhill water temp tides position on spot etc....even if your not catching pay attention to conditions, you can learn a lot...if no current don’t beat yourself up, the dinner bell hasn’t rung, go find moving water....bet you can’t wait to hit it again😃
     
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    dougbenc

    Newbie
  • Jun 15, 2020
    26
    34
    55
    Rancho Cucamonga
    Name
    Doug
    Boat
    N/A
    Glad you and your dad were able to get out!
    The fact that you are asking for help in learning, says you are on the right path.
    all the suggestions above are great. Wind and current is the biggest factor that helped me! Once you understand that, and get some numbers to plug in, you will increase your pleasure, as it will become natural for you!! Good luck and keep fishing!!
     
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