Jimmy showing me how it’s done. This fish ate the fly in inches of water. Photo by Al Quattrocchi
Photo by Al Quattrocchi Another one chewing gum.
The Qman get one to eat. Photo by Jim Solomon
The beach isn’t always flat. We came up on a nice cut and Jim being the fisherman he is, looked at me and said I am putting on a clouser. We had seen egrets and white bait dimpling on the surface. He tossed into the seam and bang , landed a nice yellowfin croaker. photo by Al Quattrocchi
This morning me and my buddy Jim fished one of our favorite local spots. There were no other anglers around except for a few football players doing drills in the sand. We had an idea where some fish were going to be, given we have been tracking them the last few weeks. It is all about getting enough water on the flat so they could get up and over onto the secondary sand crab flats. We fanned out, Jim sat in the honey hole, I went north looking for signs of life. On the way back, I see Jim’s rod bent, so I scurry back to take his pic. The flat had filled in. He landed a beautiful bean and had her on the sand. I took a few pics and began to fish. He waved me in and said there was a mystery pod, working very shallow, right at the edge of the waves, to fish right there and not to cast to far. I saw some dimpling on the surface which indicated fish but never saw a back, fin or tail. I changed my fly from grey to pink. Made a soft cast as the wave began to push water over the flat and continued to strip the fly until it hit dry sand. On the second cast just before the fly was a foot from coming out of the water a bean rushed and ate, she shook her head as to say WTF! I saw the whole take, it was sweet. Just as Jim predicted, she ate right on the doorstep. I landed her in short order, we high-fived, Jim took a nice pic and off she went back with her friends…
Moral of the story, it is always refreshing to fish with a buddy that doesn’t have an ego, willing to call ya in when the fish were working right in front of him. He wished my fish on me. I wouldn’t have gotten a fish this morning if Jim didn’t show his experience and sportsmanship. I didn’t have to write this, but I feel it is important because this used to be a normal occurrence. Something changed. I see anglers today, that only care about how many they caught and will throw over your back to catch them. If you hook a fish they run right up to where you are and start casting before you even land your fish. That wasn’t the case this morning. I will take one fish, out of kindness, to forty. It should be fun not competitive. Thanks Jim! Tight lines and have fun out there…
Bobby Izuda from Hawaii lands his first corbina on a grey merkin which he tied for the first time the night before. WTG dude!
Ken Harata with his second fair-caught corbina this season. WTG Ken!
Q walking a fish up the beach for a safe landing. Photo by Jim Solomon.
Its been an uncanny late season push by our local corbina this year (is it global warming? LOL) as the fish still seem to want to eat flies. It’s weird, this is the time of year I usually tell anglers not to get discouraged as the fish usually get lock jaw late in the season after gorging on sand crabs for weeks, not the case this year… then again we have bluefin tuna off the east end of Catalina, its nuts. I hope we get one more good tide cycle, the fish are fat and plentiful! Great to see some new faces on the beach, giving this crazy game a try. tight lines – Al Q
photo courtesy of Larry Acord.
There are still a lot of nice fish around. Me and my friend Jim farmed a few this morning, but they ate the fly and were easily cast to and sight-cast as these fish worked along the beach. The upcoming negative weekend tides starting on Sunday morning should get them going early in the am. If you haven’t put a corbina on your tick list, I would get out there sooner than later as the summer window will slowly begin to close as we approach the fall.
Fellow angler and good pal, Larry Acord showing us how it’s done this morning by sight casting to and landing this beautiful early morning corbina. We were fishing a new area that has been holding some big fish. This fish was tailing in shallow water when Larry made a nice cast and watched her chase down his fly (razzler) He set up on her and let her make a long run. After adjusting his drag and taking his time she was slid up on the beach. She was revived and released to taunt other corbina anglers in the future, like me! LOL… It’s been great fun fishing with my friends and watching them land corbina, which are tough fish to fool on flies….. Nice one Larry!
a bean football landed by southbay angler, john whitaker on a grey merkin. photo by john whitaker.
I am seeing a lot of great reports from our southland beaches this past week. many of the corbina patrol boys are tearing it up. our friend jon got four one morning (all sighted) and timmy got 2 per day on two outings last week. all of our fish are on the merkins, pink or grey in sizes 4s and 6s. yesterday we all went out for fathers day, there were six of us, the tide wasn’t the best, it was was a outgoing to the low, but after nine o clock, when she turned around, it started to heat up, our buddy james got one to eat, and paul (merkin-man) cronin had three on the reel landing one. I had one eat at my feet but had no angle to stick him so he unbuttoned, but it was still a really cool deal watching him track the fly almost to the waters edge before opening his mouth to kill the bug. the sight fishing was really good. even though I didn’t get one I had a lot of fun throwing many shots to fish, only to watch them turn towards the fly and refuse my offerings. it was the most fun you could have NOT catching one. LOL we saw lots of doubles, triples, even larger groups. All these fish were cruising the edges of a well defined trough, often retreating to a deep edge when spooked by waders or surfers. The month of June typically is a really good time to get fish on flies, they tend to be more grabby early in the season, and more finicky as we head towards summer…can’t wait for the next minus low tide cycle…
Mike Ward proudly lands his first bean on fly! Congratulations Mikey! 2012 © photos by Al Quattrocchi
July 4th, 2012
Well after my last dismal post, we decided to make a move and fish south of location X. I had had reports that there were some fish moving around. In fact, my buddy Jim had hooked three and landed two a few weeks prior in the same area. He sight-fished all three, watching the corbina chase down the fly, one even took the pink merkin on the drop. I got out a day after and saw fish everywhere but couldn’t get them to eat. That’s corbina fishing! The problem was that there was awesome am sunshine a month ago and now we had the dreaded june gloom to contend with. On a positive note, we had perfect minus low tides which make for good sighting in low light conditions. Well we moved the troops south on July 4th and invited some of our buddies to give this area a shot. This minus low is one of my favorite tides to fish this time of year and based on the last six or seven years has proven to produce many corbina on flies for me and many of my fishing pals. It was game on! The fish were right where we thought they were going to be, staging in each bucket. Mike positioned himself over a nice looking piece of water and within a half of an hour got things started by sticking a beautiful fat corbina, that took off like a bat out of hell. This was a real special fish for Mike, he had been fly fishing with me for almost three seasons and hadn’t landed a bean on fly. He joined an elite group and I was really proud of him for not getting frustrated and staying with it. Mike’s bean was taken on a get merkin. I just had a hunch. I was denied on pink for some reason so I went with smaller grey merkin and immediately got hooked up and landed bean numero dos for the morning. Then Zino walked up and we switched his fly out to a grey merkin and soon after he had bean three on the beach. Two other friends Jeff and Michelle later joined us. They were fishing just south of us. I asked Jeff and Michelle if they had any luck. The only saw a few fish and had a few shots. I told Jeff to move up the beach just north of us and look around, there were quite a few fish. Soon after Jeff’s rod had a bend in it and he connected with bean number four for the morning, he was using a light pink merkin. I would say that was a decent session, 4 corbina landed on flies in a couple of hours. I know to the newbies out there four fish doesn’t sound amazing but corbina are perhaps one, if not the hardest fish to take on a fly in the surf. They will bitch slap the best fisherman, period!
Qman holding a July fourth bean. photo by Zino Nakasuji
July 5th, 2012
now the game was on! they could run but the couldn’t hide. I could hardly sleep the night before. Got to the beach early, about 5:30am, now understanding where these fish were staging. I hit the sand in the early grey light and watched the structure with a keen eye. I began to fire some long casts from way back on the sand into the edges of the holes after seeing a few fish working the edge of the trough. I immediately connected with a big fish that gobbled the grey merkin and taking me immediately into my backing. I like to use 12 pound test (they are not leader shy in the surf) so I knew I could put the wood to him. I landed him a few minutes later. About a half hour later I moved to another hole and saw a group working just on the edge of the trough. I measured my cast and stripped the fly though their kitchen, bam, the water exploded with three beans going one direction and my bean moving straight out. I let him run, got my line on the reel and began to work him into the shallow flat on the edge of the trough. Bean two was in the books. I ended up leaving the beach just shy of 8am when the water started to fill the beach in and cover the exposed crab beds, making seeing fish nearly impossible. My other buddy Jim had a great morning as well, even though he didn’t land a fish, he got four fish to eat the fly, having all four pop off and spit the fly. That to me is still a rewarding effort . These fish will drive you nuts but they are awesome, challenging, humbling and will get you crazy, but that is why we keep trying to push the curve.
happy hunting, get out there, the games have begun….
tons of crabs due to the cooler water temps have the corbina stuffed with indigestion and closed mouths…2012 © photo by al quattrocchi
too many crabs is making it hard for the fish to get excited about the pink merkin so far this season. hopefully the tide will swing. 2012 © photo by al quattrocchi
well, we are seeing a few beans in the skinny, but not many. the june gloom early cloud cover is making things even tougher. my suggestion is wear glasses with yellow lens in the low light, it will help you to see fish. there are some areas that anglers have reported are full of cruising corbina so you will need to search to find fish. my neck of the woods near LAX has been slow, with occasion fish popping up here and there. my favorite spot this time of year was horrible this morning, full of shovels, and rays. so tomorrow I am on a corbina mission to find new real estate. happy hunting…