Balboa report Monday 8/27/2018


Finding Nemo

The spouse and I decided to make a late run to Balboa pier to try our luck. We arrived at about 3:30 pm and stayed until after 9. Knew it would be a challenge because tide was out. Thank goodness the summer crowds were gone. Parking right next the the pier was easy and there were a good number of fisher people but not crowded at all.

I got a bad vibe when I got to the pier. The surf was ABSOLUTELY FLAT. I never have seen it quite like that- looked just like a lake! We set up mid pier facing down coast and proceeded to try for live bait. Although the water was almost bath water warm, there were millions, MILLIONS of smelt and misc fry (and we forgot our net). More concern was generated when while watching the water, we saw the schools were just lazily hanging out. Hmmmm...

We had very little luck with the Sabikis, large and small. We even hooked tiny strips of squid on them and chummed with a crumbled hamburger bun left over from lunch ( but I never saw anything like how they attacked the bits with special sauce!), so we set up Carolinas with squid, hoping for a ray or other flat fish friends. After a while we switched up hook sizes, dropped down from a 3/0 circle to a 2 with a hunk of fresh mac (that the spouse caught at the end after getting frustrated with the lethargic smelt). Out from the pier or under the pier, we got a few good bumps but no takers. Tried throwing different rubbers through the schools to incite a boil, but with no luck. We finally moved towards the end of the pier. We were "welcomed" with a view of a "racy" photo shoot with a scantily clad young woman sitting on the Ruby's take out counter, while a mom was trying to distract her daughter from the display with silly antics. I guess there's a first for everything.

We watched the water, the people, the beautiful sunset, and the other fisher people, the latter looking very bored, yet hopeful. The folks on the end were only catching a few small macs. We saw also saw a large lizardfish and a small sculpin get pulled in and a bass later that night that was immediately cut loose. Finally a few larger macs started coming in, as they tend to do at sunset but alas, a large contingent of sea lions promptly took to procuring hooked fish for themselves. It became a real a battle. For every fish brought in, one went to feed the water bum's insatiable appetites, yet no hatred was directed at the hungry pack. It became like a bizarre game.

We ended the evening with about a half dozen small macs and a couple smelt. Although some would say it was a pretty sad catch, we didn't get skunked, we shared an interesting day gazing at the Pacific, an incredible moon rise and genuinely enjoyed each other's company, which made the day, fish or no fish.