Tried to put a friend on sand dabs, failed 5-11-2019

Discussion in 'Southern California Inshore & Islands Fish Reports' started by Azarkon, May 12, 2019.

  1. Azarkon

    Azarkon I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    Joe
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    Friend was new to fishing, but wanted fresh fish for Mother's Day, so I intended to put him on the easiest food fishing I knew. This is the story of how the plan failed.

    First, the conditions: weather predictions called for thunder storms after 11 am, so stayed local. The thunder storms never materialized, but wind did pick up around 12. Water temperature stayed around 59 to 61 the whole time.

    Second, the area: Long Beach, mostly around the drop off past the 150.

    Third, the target: sand dabs and local rock fish.

    Got a relatively late start at 7 am. The sea was glass the whole way out, and stayed glass until about 11. It was one of the best days on the water I've ever had, in terms of weather. But the fishing is another story.

    I got to my usual Long Beach spots for sand dabs about 7:30. Did the first drops in 250 to 270 feet, sand and mud bottom, with custom 12 hook set ups, was just about to tell my friend about how easy sand dab fishing is and how we could load up before 9 and then go for rock fish when... cricket...

    What!? I reset the boat. Tried again at a different spot at 230 feet... again cricket...

    The last time I was out for sand dabs in February, it was wide open almost any where I went. Full house pulls were often. But today, I couldn't buy a bite. Okay, that was an exaggeration, we did scratch out about 40 small to medium sand dabs after 3 hours of fishing around the drop off. But all that proved was that I wasn't dreaming. This was terrible fishing.

    Switched to rock fishing with 2 hooks around 11, but by this stage, I was frustrated and wasn't hoping for anything. Tried a couple of reef spots near the rigs, and got a few smaller rock fish, but I had wasted so much time on sand dabs that we had to leave shortly after 12. Here, my local spots weren't producing anything of quality, either, but the difference wasn't nearly as drastic as with the sand dabs.

    Now, I don't go for sand dab fishing often, but every time I've gone in the last few years, I've had no trouble getting as much as I want. Never had a day like yesterday where a dozen different spots produced only 3 to 4 sand dabs each.

    Fortunately, my friend being new to fishing had no comparison to go off on, so ended up happy with just the fish we got; but I have to wonder: what the hell is going on in Long Beach?
     
    colemans224 and the SLIDER like this.
  2. jigfisherman

    jigfisherman Well-Known "Member"

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    The fishery must be hurting tremendously
     
  3. swami 805

    swami 805 I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    Bill
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    Some days the fish just don't bite. Just one of those days but that is pretty harsh when you have to scratch for dabs.
     
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  4. the SLIDER

    the SLIDER https://multimediabylj.com

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    L J
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    Did you check your buddies bag for bananas?

    If he wasn't holding, fishing may not be his game.
     
    SMYLEE likes this.
  5. wildbunch

    wildbunch MOFO

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    It is called fishing.The fish do not care when you want to catch them. Plenty of sanddabs out there for you next time but not today. Keep fishin :skullbone :Zombie_Ro
     
    ghetto_dad likes this.
  6. One_Leg

    One_Leg Ret. Comm. Diver/Medic

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    Alan
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    Sometimes, a lil dab'll do ya.


    Great report in spite of the quarries recalcitrant nature.
     
  7. greenscales

    greenscales Newbie

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    Best way to prevent a bite, guarantee someone that it’s a sure thing, it’s a no brainer, and nothing can go wrong - specially when you come completely prepared. Best bites are always when you go w/low expectations and thus forget the lure, rig, gaff, or whatever else was the most essential or effective item for that day. Forget the 130 fluorocarbon - giant BFT, Taddy 45 for surface YFT, and the squid jigs for the first float and WSB schooled on the grounds. Next time forget the Dab rigs so you have to work for them, then they’ll be stupid wide open. Murphy’s Law of fishing.
     
    Azarkon, fishin_kid, octans and 2 others like this.
  8. dktool

    dktool Member

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    The rare Brylcreem reference, nicely done.
     
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  9. Long Beach Bob

    Long Beach Bob Member

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    Bob Ballew
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    It could also be that the local sportfishing boats have fished that area everyday for weeks to send customers home with something....time to try a new spot....think positive: some of the bluefin chasers have made 7 trips so far and come back empty handed...But, with a El Nino forecast prediction thru Summer, it is looking like another banner year for fishing...
     
  10. Azarkon

    Azarkon I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    Great attitude, and I certainly learned a lesson here: never take the ocean for granted, not even the humble sand dab.
     
  11. cortezsunrise

    cortezsunrise Newbie

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    Same for Santa Monica Bay the Friday before Mother's Day. 1,000's of porpoise and only a few small sand dabs. No sand bass of any numbers either although bit early yet.
     
    Azarkon likes this.
  12. Azarkon

    Azarkon I've posted enough I should edit this section

    Location:
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    Just saw the tradition went out on a full day sand dab trip and only got 175 sand dabs for 14... confirms how slow it’s been when you barely get 10 a person in a whole day. seems Iike the plan to make this a regular business local has hit a wall
     
  13. the SLIDER

    the SLIDER https://multimediabylj.com

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    L J
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    Or travel. Dana Point submarine canyons (a mile off the point) has a shit load and not targeted. I do a trip a year, get my fill, then move on.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
  14. doug wille

    doug wille _BigWille

    Location:
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    doug
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    Haven't dab'd in a while, but last year around this time the dabs were wide open in much shallower water of approximately 160'-180' deep, near the double rigs on flat bottom.

    When we target them, we stop at 160' and work our way deeper til we find them, making big moves.

    They seem to migrate deeper in fall/winter and shallower in spring.
     
    Azarkon likes this.

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