Finally A Hali Worth Posting

#1
I won't complain when I catch fish, but this season the benchmark Thirty Inches remained elusive for a long time. But I got there this morning around 10:20-25. This was about 100 yards from Redfish's recent beauty. East Bay Shoreline rules.

I was foraging bait around 7:30-8:30 and got a good net full of six shiner perch, none pregnant. Moved to a shoreline spot and was in the water by 9. The tide was already moving out and the bottom rocks were treacherous, upholstered in green lettuce. There was a small craft warning issued from 9am onward, so my time was limited. Like clockwork the wind came up at 9 and blew pretty steadily. Casting into it was a challenge. Fishing light gear in the wind is a challenge, for that matter. I rely on the first nibble, the first twitch. I want that pole in my hand for the next bite, so I can set the hook and catch the fish. When the wind is jiggling and jostling the rod tip, this is somewhat difficult.

With live bait I'll wait for maybe 15 minutes and then check. Two times came up with an empty hook. Crabs. One more time, forward into the gust. I was ready to catch a fish. Big net on hand, Trader Joe's bag to the side: I use the burlap bag to cover seaweed rocks and prevent me from slipping. Got a twitch, set the hook, fought the fish for a splendid fifteen (?) minutes, all the time climbing down the rocks and walking on burlap. (I became a grandfather recently and sure looked like one as I descended.) But mission accomplished: caught my own bait and landed my own fish, a respectable size.

31" Left-Eyed Halibut
Ugly Stik lite 7' one piece (renovated from stripped blank)
Okuma Avenger 3000 (with a snail's pace retrieve)
CXX 10# line

Sliding bait rig with 2oz ball and size 1 Owner SSW.

Tuesday 2021-05-18
Sunrise 5:56 PDT, Sunset 20:15 PDT
Moonset 1:33 PDT, Moonrise 11:32 PDT
High Tide: 4:18 PDT 4.9
Low Tide: 11:39 PDT -0.2

High Tide: 19:26 PDT 4.5

A truly enjoyable battle.
The tide was at 0.17 when I caught her.
Wind from the South, 8 knots gusting to 12 knots
She had released her eggs weeks ago.


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#5
Well done. I have never caught a halibut from shore. I am traveling to SoCal next week and hope to remedy that. Thanks for showing us how it is done.
j
Thanks. In Southern California, you are in cosmic good company as far as halibut fishermen. Names like Mola Joe and Don Blaze come to mind, if only for the hip signatures. Snookie is a current poster here who has a wealth of information. She is a live bait halibut fishing maven. Also, Pete Wolf, aka Leapinbass from an older avatar of this board (and a founder of Big Hammer Lures), has excellent information for artificial presentation. Personally, that's the way I'd go with all those gorgeous sandy beaches. Reeling in a big flattie on the surf is inspirational. John Mykannen and Wang, from the old boards, fished live jacksmelt for halibut from Huntington Beach on down. You'll have a blast.

This link honestly made me a better lure fishermen for halibut. I apply the same techniques in a slightly different habitat, but they work.
http://www.swimbait.com/techniques/halibut.htm
And this is also very good:

http://www.swimbait.com/techniques/surf.htm
 
#6
Great catch!! In my mind more rewarding because you got your bait as well.
If I read that correctly, you were casting live bait from the shoreline? I would love to hear some tips on that!!
In my experience, flinging live bait off the hook and killing the bait upon impact is much easier than a successful cast. I can only imagine that you are not trying to make the longest cast, right?
Thanks for the report. It makes me want to make the 75 mile drive to give it a shot.
 
#7
Great catch!! In my mind more rewarding because you got your bait as well.
If I read that correctly, you were casting live bait from the shoreline? I would love to hear some tips on that!!
In my experience, flinging live bait off the hook and killing the bait upon impact is much easier than a successful cast. I can only imagine that you are not trying to make the longest cast, right?
Thanks for the report. It makes me want to make the 75 mile drive to give it a shot.
It's true I don't try to cast far with live bait. With lighter line, I can, but there is little point. "Match the hatch," to me, also means placing the bait offering in pretty much the same habitat it dwells. Shiner perch, for instance. They are not usually found in deep water more than 50 yards offshore. Halibut and striped bass hang close to the bank and feed on small fish, who in turn are feeding on the rocks and clumps just past the waterline. Smelt species do congregate a bit farther out, but they will also move in on the tide. Watch for birds, almost any species save the seagulls, which are primarily an indication of people and not fish.

One way to save your bait on a cast is to slip a small square of rubber band behind the barb after you've hooked the fish. How you hook the bait is important. For smelt (jack and top), hooking them through the upper mouth makes it hard to lose them on a cast. Shiners, through the nostrils. If the tide is deep or the current running swiftly, I might hook a smelt species behind the rear dorsal fin to ensure the bait swims upward. Also, there is a better chance the bait will not be drowned. If I have a lot of shiners, hooking them near the dorsal fin makes them very active, like underwater butterflies. Yesterday I had half a dozen, but the water was low and there are a myriad clumps of eel grass in that spot, so nostril hooking made more sense.

The cast itself is more of an exaggerated arc than a straight fling. Really relying on force and motion more than brute strength. I measure the sinker to the lowest guide and just toss. (It might be similar to the classic off-the-ground cast.) As said, lighter line helps for distance, but I repeat this is mostly unnecessary, and I'd risk getting spooled if my line was already out far when the fish struck. I like a good fight with room to work, which is why I'd prefer shoreline over piers. Yesterday it was a battle without "coaching" or crowding--or, worst of all, some helpful dude wanting to net my fish before it's ready to come in. I don't fault pier anglers for getting excited and wishing to be part of the catch. I can do without gratuitous advice when I'm fighting a fish. But it is human nature to get jazzed about things. Yesterday's halibut made almost ten runs each time I brought it close to the net. I was grateful not to be distracted and to fully enjoy the battle.
 
#8
Thanks. In Southern California, you are in cosmic good company as far as halibut fishermen. Names like Mola Joe and Don Blaze come to mind, if only for the hip signatures. Snookie is a current poster here who has a wealth of information. She is a live bait halibut fishing maven. Also, Pete Wolf, aka Leapinbass from an older avatar of this board (and a founder of Big Hammer Lures), has excellent information for artificial presentation. Personally, that's the way I'd go with all those gorgeous sandy beaches. Reeling in a big flattie on the surf is inspirational. John Mykannen and Wang, from the old boards, fished live jacksmelt for halibut from Huntington Beach on down. You'll have a blast.

This link honestly made me a better lure fishermen for halibut. I apply the same techniques in a slightly different habitat, but they work.
http://www.swimbait.com/techniques/halibut.htm
And this is also very good:

http://www.swimbait.com/techniques/surf.htm
Wow, breaking out the OG names there Glen! :cool:
 
#9
Thanks so much for your helpful info ( tons of it if you read carefully) , and congrats again!! I gleaned from the Redfish response to a similar question, that he might be fishing from a pier, while in this case, you were clearly casting from shore. An important distinction. As one who likes to avoid the crowds, I am more likely to fish from shore, although I will most definitely fish from piers as well if that is more effective.
It is not easy for an interloper to find a shore spot on the east bay that is productive but still a relatively safe place to park and fish, but I think I may see an opportunity to at least try a spot with a large public park with a nearby pier where I might give it a try.
I will sheepishly say, that I will probably get myself a spot on one of the cattle boats out of Berkeley or Emeryville at least once this year. I will probably get a fish, but not nearly as satisfying as what you did!
Thanks again for sharing.
 
#11
Much obliged for the good vibes!

I am fortunate I can fish whenever I want. So I get to fish a lot. This adds up to a fair amount of time on the water. That's the magical formula. Frequent fishing creates aficionados and sages. Most times when you like something and pursue it often, you acquire skill and learn more about it each day. And like it even more. That's always been true in my own continuing experience.

Someone said Einstein said: "Insanity is doing the same thing over and expecting different results." Or words to that effect. He didn't really say it. Whoever said it probably did not go fishing.

I've never caught anything at home or on YouTube. There is no substitute for getting out there on all tides, scouting and surveying fishing areas, and then applying your knowledge to the current conditions. I fish a lot, so I fail a lot--as far as targeted species--yet success is always a possibility because I had a line out on the water.



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