The water temps hit the magic mark and the beans are crawling. In the last two days, my buddy Jon Nakano and I landed 8 fish on fly. Four a piece. We each had a few bust off as well. This morning for kicks Jon busted out the spin reel and landed another four within a forty five minute window on live crabs. Pretty sick sight fishing. I have been fishing a slightly different fly pattern than the standard tied surfin merkin I usually fish with confidence. The surfin merkin is wide, they can be trimmed but overall flat in nature. I am making my EP sand crabs a little slender, more of a tear drop shape and taller in profile by stacking the fibers in a hi-tie style and they are getting eaten pretty well, so as they say if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, I am staying with it. I got one fish a week ago on a white, the others all on grey and pink. Grey and pink work equally the same, i have no preference. Size 6 hook. Use a thin wire hook to stick em. My advice for beginners is don’t give up, this is a hard game, one if not the toughest in flyfishing. I have been on it for over twenty years and it still drives me crazy. Spend more time walking and looking for groups of fish, they are your best shot, if you haven’t gotten one on fly yet. Make the cast count, anticipate their next move, think like a corbina, watch the nervous water…and try to continue to breath…lol
Posts Tagged With: corbina
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…
I love those days when the wind is down, the swell is dead flat and the sun lights up the water like your in the Bahamas fishing for bonefish in a swimming pool. You can spot Corbina all lit up, a half a mile a way. NOT!!!!
Sunday’s early morning session was crazy with rain, wind, no sun, choppy surf. Even though conditions were not favorable, our Corbina posse landed seven fish, which is an above the average Corbina count, given this fish’s ability to drive you crazy and have lock jaw often… we had a small swell but the wind tended to foam up the beach making sight fishing pretty difficult, so what do ya do? You can go home and curl up in bed or you can tough up and spend more time searching and less time standing around waiting for something to happen. The moral of the story? Study the beach, walk! Once we located fish in one particular area the boys put a hurt on them. Tod who went through a long fishes streak, hooked five and landed three. It can be done, I have seen this scenario played out before. This game is about perseverance, don’t get frustrated. the more time you put in on the beach the more the rhythms of the beach become apparent. Watching these fish work the surf line is for me just as cool as catching them. Be one with the bean! The anglers that catch them consistently are usually in areas where the corbina are most of the time. Finding those areas is what separates the average weekend warrior with the seasoned veterans. Even on beaches with no structure the fish spread out but there will be a small seam or slight depression or sand crab bed that will concentrate more fish in a particular area. This is what we look for, it is prime real estate in bean town baby. Tight lines
ok, last year I had to pleasure of meeting Glenn Ueda and posting many of his corbina adventures with you. I met Glenn fishing one morning on one of my local beaches, we became Corbina pals and I got him to come visit some of my home water. Glenn was on a tear last season, and ended up having the dream corbina season landing 25 sight caught fish off the beach in one season, pretty cool stuff.
So it’s the end of March and as many of you know, California is experiencing another El Nino year. Our water temps have been in the low and mid sixties throughout the winter. Yellowtail are literally beaching themselves, grin! We don’t have much bait in our surf other than grunion, the sand crab beds haven’t begun to take shape yet. We have sighted some fish recently in the Southbay, but they didn’t seem to be aggressively feeding. Well, Glenn got out last week on his bike and scouted the lay of the land, somewhere in Orange County and found some fish walking the shoreline and and got them to eat the fly. I hope we get some of those feeders up our way soon. He landed three beans on two separate days. We will be following his fish counts closely this year, with this great start Glenn could break his previous mark. I hope he does, he really works hard at it…no free lunches…good luck buddy LOL
“Wanted to update your blog readers on the first 3 corbina of the season! They were caught in a two day timespan, and is typical, the structure was eliminated under a crushing swell. Being March, not many fish sighted yet, and though water temps are hovering in the 65 degree range, sand crab beds are still absent. Perhaps, the memory of what should be there has them feeding in tight to the beach and thus tempted by the small #8 grey merkins I’ve been tossing. Regardless, I am encouraged by what I am seeing and remain hopeful that this will be another special year for a species that I have to come to admire, respect, and pursue endlessly.”
well all I can say is even though we are seeing lots of fish, they seem to be spread out and seem to have lock jaw. the beaches have lost most of their structure. it’s like rolling a pair of dice on a flat pool table. I did have my fair share of opportunities this morning but only had two fish bubble up and turn on my fly as to say we are on to you Qman. We know your game and we ain’t going for it. I threw at many singles and had the opportunity of pulling through a few small groups with no love today. My buddy Jim got a hold of one fish that was chin hooked on a pink merkin this morning. I was really happy to finally see a bent fly rod. there were a total of six anglers fishing this morning and I think we all had similar results, that is what keeps us coming back, you don’t always catch em, they can be humbling, challenging, aggravating, comical, etc. For me it is the adrenaline and chase that keeps me focused, I am always trying to make a better cast, timed swing or perfect strip. That’s why it’s called fly fishing an not catching… there’s always another day and another tide.
Last year I got a call from a steelhead guide from Oregon named Teresa. She was visiting her mom down here in Los Angeles and was mutual friends with some of my old time
Southbay Flyfishing club fishing friend’s, Joe & Jan. Teresa is a real fishy woman, she picked my brain on our local surf and killed it up in Santa Monica last year. I think she even landed a leopard shark.
Well a month or so ago, she emailed and said she wanted to get that elusive corbina tick off her list. She told me when she was coming, the tides were not perfect for sight fishing but I knew there were fish around. I sent her to a spot where we did well the week before. My local sources were still nailing fish, blindcasting (my friend Steve got three this Saturday on a brown sand crab pattern). Teresa had two days to complete her task. The first morning the stars aligned. Here is her email note to me, i love when a plan comes together.
“I’d say this is a very challenging fishery. I had two days to fish it and wish i had three to dial it in even better.
When I actually thought out what a crab pattern tumbling in the surf might look like, on day two, my hook-ups increased dramatically. I blind cast all of the first day, which is the day i caught and landed my first bean. The second day is when I finally saw the fish, watched their behavior and deciphered what a strip might look like to imitate the tumbling of a crab pulled out of the sand by the surf. That changed the game and I started feeling takes and misses, two more hook-ups and one good battle which I lost to the fish and a small halibut, again fair hooked to hand. Day three, I coulda moidered them! Thanks for all the help Al. Without you, i wouldn’t have even known where to begin.
tight lines ,
teresa caught her fish on a del brown tan merkin ( the original permit pattern)
PS: this week from wednesday through Saturday are prime sight fishing opportunities, if the wind and surf stay down and we get some sunshine it could be great. this tide cycle usually is the last
good shot at getting a bean to eat a fly by sight casting in our area. after this they can be caught but are harder and less interested in the fly, but anything is possible. 🙂