My good buddy and “Corbina Whisperer” Jon Nakano will be joining forces with me to help you get that dreaded Corbina tick off your list or perhaps make you a better Corbina fly fisher if you have caught them before. We will be presenting at the Fly Fair at the Glendale Civic Auditorium, both Saturday and Sunday. Jon and I have over forty years combined experience, flyfishing for beans and are willing to share our secrets and experience on the sand with you, so please try not to miss this one, it should be very informative…
Photo by Al Quattrocchi
Photo by Al Quattrocchi
Photo by Al Quattrocchi
Photo by Jon Nakano
photo by Al Quattrocchi
Photo by Al Quattrocchi
Photo by Al Quattrocchi
Photo by Al Quattrocchi
photo by Jon Nakano
The new Q EP hi-tie sand crab. Been doing really well with this fly this season so far. I do not figure eight tie in the EP like the surfin merkin, everything is tied on top of the shank and folded back giving the sand crab a more slender higher in the sand profile…keep the tails short, no fouls. they work equally as well in grey and salmon pink. try them and let me know how you do? photo by Al Quattrocchi
Photo by Jim Solomon
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
Tod goes three for five after a long beanies streak on the sand. He was on fire! photo by Al Q
Yes dreams do come true. Brad with a beauty that took him into his backing. Photo by Al Q
Tod working his third bean of the morning on a pink modified, surfin merkin
Jim Solomon, Fly Zone master with one of two beans landed on Father’s Day. All on the pink surfin merkin. WTG Jimmy. photo by Al Q
a new EP sand crab I have be working on, Ill be tying some of these this weekend at the Fly Stop in San Diego this Saturday from noon to three pm.
Brad, a newbie to the corbina patrol and flyfishing for corbina, landing his third bean in two days on the surfin merkin.
she ate the bubblegum before breakfast. a big mistake. photo by Al Q
I field tested a new SLV Okuma fly rod the past week that a buddy got me ands far landed seven species on it. Check out the Fly Zone with me and Jim Solomon to learn more about sight casting for corbina.
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
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
A sight fishing intro to corbina presentation by Al Q and Jon Nakano this Sunday morning at 9:30 am at The Fisherman’s Spot in Van Nuys.
I asked my long time fly fishing buddy, Jon Nakano to join me on Sunday morning at The Fisherman’s Spot, in Van Nuys to give his insights on our favorite summer sight fishing, surf species, the Corbina. I have had the good fortune to fish alongside Jon for many seasons, he’s like the corbina whisperer. LOL The presentation is only 45 minutes so we will try to jam in as much local knowledge as we can, we hope to see some new faces out there on Sunday morning…there will be a short ten minute video at the end. cheers – Al Q
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.
Glenn’s epic 25 fish season 2014, photos by glenn ueda
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.”
photo by Glenn Ueda
Here are some weekend highlights from some of our fly fishing friends that were gracious enough to email me some pics…
Fourth of July corbina sight-casted and landed on a classic old school set up by Al Q. A Fenwick 8.6 ft, two piece 7 wt.fiberglass rod with an old 40s pfleuger click and pawl fly reel. I used a pink merkin, 12 foot leader with 8# tippet and the Rio Camolux intermediate fly line with 3% stretch. Photo by Al Quattrocchi
here’s a fun pic! a few corbina sighted at Blacks Beach in San Deigo. photo by Bernard Yin.
Nick Blixt comes really close to accomplishing his first faired corbina. Photo by Nick Blixt. The fish was chin hooked.
fu man choo! chin hook by Nick!
pretty early morning light. Photo of Al Q by Jon Nakano
awesome pic by Michael Schweit (FFF southwest Pres) of our fly fishing buddy Jon Nakano lining up a fish in the skinny.
John hooked and landed three and a quarter corbina on July 5th. Three were faired and landed and one he handed off to a little kid that reeled a little took hard when the fish decided to run and popped!
First sight cast bean by Chiaki Harami and a nice one Chiaki! photo by Chiaki Harami
A couple of notes: there’s a lot of guys having troubles hooking fish, out guessing themselves and switching flies, and getting frustrated. Me and Jon were talking about this over the weekend. well, listen up. this isn’t easy. I fish with the best corbina fly fisherman period and I learn every day. the one thing I can say is these fish do not always eat the fly so you have to really try to get as many quality shots as possible directly in front of their nose. They WILL eat if the fly is on their nose, unfortunately many new comers have a hard time getting the fly in the right location consistently. My advise; since it is really hard to get the fly on their nose with current, wave hydraulics, people walking by, etc. Don’t change flies…stick to using a merkin (pink is better for sight-fishing) , it works!!! That is one thing less you will have to think about is not trusting your fly. Trust this fly and worry more about casting accurately, this is the main reason many guys are not catching fish. You need to place a fly accurately at a moving target, this ups the game times ten! What I would do, is go out with your fly rod to the park or backyard and put a small dinner plate upside down at different distances, (use the same set up you take to the beach) then practice casting a hookless merkin at the dinner plates till you can make one cast and hit all of them. Play for beers with you friends, make it fun? the better you can judge distance and put a fly on a plate the more fun it is. this sight-fishing game becomes like shooting targets. stick with it, it will make you a better fly fisherman and you will be rewarded for the hard work! this next tide cycle will be awesome, so start practicing like right now! LOL