Pacific Coast Surf Fishing Washington to San Diego December Advice

Nov 24, 2020
2
0
65
Fort Myers, Florida
Name
Stephen Rothman
Boat Name
Pathfinder 2200 TRS
I'm driving down the Pacific coast from Seattle to San Diego during the month of December, planning to do some surf fishing along the way. I'm interested in advice regarding beaches, gear, targets, bait. I have extensive experience surf fishing in Southern California, especially in the summer when the sand crabs and Corbina are everywhere. No experience in WA or OR and not much in Northern California, and less in winter than in summer. Especially interested in any recommendations of a surf fishing travel rod (multi-piece, spinning or conventional); what to expect and what fish to look for and what bait in WA and OR.
 
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45king

Jig slinger/arrow flinger
May 29, 2005
2,195
1,105
42
Sd/Oc
Name
danny
Boat Name
Hall pass
Sounds like an epic adventure with a cooler full of variety in your future! Good luck and stay safe my bro!
 
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BSK

Newbie
Jan 18, 2022
4
0
45
Santa Barbara
Name
Ben Kerwood
Boat Name
Livingston
I bought an Okuma sst 8’6 travel rod. It comes with a hard tube case and I think it was $100, 3 piece. I bought it for a trip and because I had the original, that one was actually snagged out of the back of my truck. I’ve only used it a couple times actually because I have a two piece rod that I grab first. I’m not a lazy person, other than when it comes to getting in the water fast. Long story but in my vehicle I prefer a one or two piece rigged up if there’s a spot for it and the trip is more fishing/beach focused. If tight on space or the trip has long stretches of no fishing the okuma and case could be a good option.
 
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Jan 13, 2018
74
117
Littleton, Co
Name
Kirby
Boat Name
Ranger Z521
The most important thing I can tell you is watch out for sneaker waves every cast. I grew up in SoCal and it's nothing like it. A wave that doesn't even look big can run 50 yards up the beach and the current and power is unforgiving. Go to the waters edge and cast then back up to the dry sand every time. A PFD(live jacket) and a partner is advisable. Don't fish the surf if it's over 6 ft which it often is. It's too much hassle(but they will bite). Move up and down the beach till you find them. Fish often bite in 6" to 2 ft of water.
Okuma Celilo or Sst, or Lamiglass x11 rods won't break the bank and have great actions. I fish a 9' Celilo medium heavy with a Tranx 300 or 400 with 30lb braid with a short two hook 10 or 12 lb mono leader for redtail perch. Double dropper loop style. 2 to 6 oz bulldozer sinker. 4 oz is usually ok. The small diameter of the braid helps in the waves and side current. You'll get a lot of grass and kelp sometimes. We use 2" Gulp sandworms in camo or red(Don't even mess with real bait, the Sandworms are that good) on #4 baitholders or break longer worms into shorter lengths. Try to keep the worm straight so it doesn't cause drag. The perch hammer it.
For rocks or jetties throw swimbaits or big grubs tipped with squid or by themselves for rockfish and lings. 3/8 oz to 1/2 oz. Or drop shot with plastics. White, orange, chartreuse, yellow or red. Or the gulp Sandworms.
One of the most fun things, believe it or not, is throwing crab snares for dungeness and rock crabs. Use a heavy glass rod and fill your snare with fish or squid(some people use chicken). They peck squid away pretty fast but it's our favorite. Cast in back bays, off piers, jetties or low surf areas. Incredible eating if you have the means to boil them. Buy ProMar crab snares. The clear mono loops on the ProMar snares is softer and stays around the crabs legs or claws way better than the crummy heavy blue mono snares. You'll have to fiddle with them to open them up once in a while, but they won't spring open like the heavy blue ones which let the crabs out. You'll actually see them biting or pulling the snare around sometimes.
Check the regulations. They change as you move down the coast.
A rod that we've been very happy with and have several of in all lengths is a Goture Exceed in 7, 8, or 9 foot. I've been buying and using them for 5 or 6 years. They are 4 pc with spigot ferrules, very strong, with a softish tip but ballsy fast taper 8 to 20 lb test. And they're under $50. The 9 foot fits angled corner to corner in a large suitcase or you can keep them in their nice Cordura covered tube. I use mine all the time and I have caught hundreds of fish on them up to 25 lbs. I have 17 inshore travel rods( because I wanted to test them all) from St Croix, Okuma, Fenwick, Fiblink, Santiam, and Custom and I fish the Gotures the most. They're not the fine fit and finish of some of the others but they are a hell of a rod for function, balance and action. Kind of a lighter 196-8 type action. You can flyline a chovy or pilchard with them very easily. I'm strictly conventional/baitcast but my buddy loves their spinning versions.
 
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Nov 24, 2020
2
0
65
Fort Myers, Florida
Name
Stephen Rothman
Boat Name
Pathfinder 2200 TRS
The most important thing I can tell you is watch out for sneaker waves every cast. I grew up in SoCal and it's nothing like it. A wave that doesn't even look big can run 50 yards up the beach and the current and power is unforgiving. Go to the waters edge and cast then back up to the dry sand every time. A PFD(live jacket) and a partner is advisable. Don't fish the surf if it's over 6 ft which it often is. It's too much hassle(but they will bite). Move up and down the beach till you find them. Fish often bite in 6" to 2 ft of water.
Okuma Celilo or Sst, or Lamiglass x11 rods won't break the bank and have great actions. I fish a 9' Celilo medium heavy with a Tranx 300 or 400 with 30lb braid with a short two hook 10 or 12 lb mono leader for redtail perch. Double dropper loop style. 2 to 6 oz bulldozer sinker. 4 oz is usually ok. The small diameter of the braid helps in the waves and side current. You'll get a lot of grass and kelp sometimes. We use 2" Gulp sandworms in camo or red(Don't even mess with real bait, the Sandworms are that good) on #4 baitholders or break longer worms into shorter lengths. Try to keep the worm straight so it doesn't cause drag. The perch hammer it.
For rocks or jetties throw swimbaits or big grubs tipped with squid or by themselves for rockfish and lings. 3/8 oz to 1/2 oz. Or drop shot with plastics. White, orange, chartreuse, yellow or red. Or the gulp Sandworms.
One of the most fun things, believe it or not, is throwing crab snares for dungeness and rock crabs. Use a heavy glass rod and fill your snare with fish or squid(some people use chicken). They peck squid away pretty fast but it's our favorite. Cast in back bays, off piers, jetties or low surf areas. Incredible eating if you have the means to boil them. Buy ProMar crab snares. The clear mono loops on the ProMar snares is softer and stays around the crabs legs or claws way better than the crummy heavy blue mono snares. You'll have to fiddle with them to open them up once in a while, but they won't spring open like the heavy blue ones which let the crabs out. You'll actually see them biting or pulling the snare around sometimes.
Check the regulations. They change as you move down the coast.
A rod that we've been very happy with and have several of in all lengths is a Goture Exceed in 7, 8, or 9 foot. I've been buying and using them for 5 or 6 years. They are 4 pc with spigot ferrules, very strong, with a softish tip but ballsy fast taper 8 to 20 lb test. And they're under $50. The 9 foot fits angled corner to corner in a large suitcase or you can keep them in their nice Cordura covered tube. I use mine all the time and I have caught hundreds of fish on them up to 25 lbs. I have 17 inshore travel rods( because I wanted to test them all) from St Croix, Okuma, Fenwick, Fiblink, Santiam, and Custom and I fish the Gotures the most. They're not the fine fit and finish of some of the others but they are a hell of a rod for function, balance and action. Kind of a lighter 196-8 type action. You can flyline a chovy or pilchard with them very easily. I'm strictly conventional/baitcast but my buddy loves their spinning versions.
Wow. That must have taken half of your day. Packed with info, thanks. I tend to be a real bait guy but am hearing about the Gulp worms for PNW perch from everywhere, so I’ll give it a shot. I had not even thought about the safety issue, so that’s also a useful heads-up.
 
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