Ken Jones

Staff member
Date: January 25, 2003
To: PFIC Message Board
From: anuther fisher
Subject: tried grubin’ for 1st time today... skunked!

Time: 3:30pm, incoming high tide. Fished between the wedge and Balboa Pier. I was using a 1.5” motor-oil colored grub on a three-foot leader with a snap swivel, bead, and bullet sliding sinker. I tried casting as far as I can, not really knowing where the perch are and retrieving slowly. I tried covering as much territory as I could in 1 1/2 hours. NOTHING. Can someone please tell me what I was doing wrong? or, am I fishing at the wrong spot? p.s. I wasn’t using any type of scents. Can that be the problem? I NEED ME A PERCH! Please help. Thank you.

Name: nigeria butler

Try motor oil and red flake grubs past the break line. Nigeria Butler

Name: anuther fisher

I couldn’t get it past the break line without getting soaked. Maybe just a few times but with no luck still. Think I can get them off the pier with the grubs?

Name: Kbron2000

Try motor oil color, and yes you can get them from the pier. I’ve been fishing in the past (Newport Beach) not too far away from balboa.

Tip number 1------> Use 4lb or 6lb line (Maxima is cool)

Tip number 2------> Use a sinker on the main line and about 2 foot leader line with your motor oil grub.

Tip number 3 -------> Cast where the waves brake

Tip number 4 ------> Sloooow retrive they’ll bite, try after 5PM, or else watch around until you see people catching them.

Name: pierangler8787

I would also suggest you try to read the water. Catfish posted a good site about reading the beach. It may seem very complicated at first, but it really isn’t once you spot one hole. The waves break when they get to shallow water, so you can tell what kind of beach you are fishing just by looking where the waves break. When you see a wave start to swell, then kind of “wobbles” and doesn’t break, that’s a hole. Usually there will be white water all around it. Also, it may be a little darker in color. Once you start finding holes, you should start catching fish. You can catch fish without scents, but I think it makes a HUGE difference when you do. You can use pretty much any scent something is better than nothing. I especially like scents from Pro-Cure, like the Calico Cocktail, smelly jelly has never let me down once I learned to how to properly use grubs. Shrimp/Anise special mix is my personal favorite, out of the ones that I have tried. Shrimp, anchovie, herring salt, they all work and they all work very well. Some people really like Hot Sauce, no not the hot sauce you put on food, there is a brand that actually makes “hot sauce bait juice.” It’s hard to find and I don’t know much about the sizes, the only one I saw was a large bottle that was around $20. You should also buy the same grub but with red flake. I think it produces more with the red flake. Gold flake would be second in my opinion. Also, what size hook were you using? Because you are just starting out grubbin’ for perch you should use a #8 hook and if you can find some small 1 inch or 1/2 inch grub, use a #10. You may hook a lot of small perch, but it is a good way to build up confidence in grubs and to get a good “feel” of how to go about grubbing. You will also know where the perch feed more often. Oh yeah, and one more tip, your retrieve. My retrieve really isn’t a retrieve, I just keep the line taunt at all times; as long as I can feel the weight of the sinker. When slack goes in the line I reel until I can feel the weight. If your rig is not moving around and just sitting there, it could be one of four things (or all):

1. There is no current where you rig is

2. It is very calm

3. You’re using too much weight

4. Your rig is on a shallow flat

If it is 1, move to another spot until your line starts to move and drift. 2 and 3 basically tie in with each other, but if it is calm, you may want to do a SLOW jigging type retrieve. If that is not working, use a smaller sinker. On calm, small surf days use a 1/4 ounce egg sinker and in some cases (although rarely), 1/8. On more “moderate” days, 1/2 ounce is fine and sometimes 3/4 is there is some good current. Rough days 3/4 ounce to 1 1/2 ounce. If you are in situation 4, then sort of jig it back, again very SLOWLY and then when it goes into a hole, drop of or in the white water areas, do the normal retrieve.

I hope I didn't make it too confusing and good luck on your next outing. Chris

Name: pierangler8787

I blame it on the weather, but I have been having trouble catching perch on the grub lately and need some advice on my retrieve? If I can feel the weight of the sinker, I leave it. If I can't, I reel until I can. I understand that this isn't the best at all times and should vary my retrieve. How can I tell when or when to not use a different speed? I thank you very greatly for any advice and feel free to e-mail if you wish.

Name: catfish

It's all about experimenting. I often hear this statement when I tell people that I love to fish. “You must be a very patient man.” I may have patience in certain aspects of my life, but I have no patience at all when it comes to fishing. When something doesn’t work within a few minutes, I change something and see if that works. The same applies to retrieves. Sometimes a slow retrieve is the ticket. I always start with the same retrieve that you’ve described. But sometimes the fish need a trigger. Try imparting extra action on your grub by adding twitches or reeling in at different speeds. I think that this is especially true if the wave/current action is minimal or if the water is clear. Sometimes the fish will only look or peck at the grub when they could see it well. Those days a faster retrieve will trigger a reaction strike and help the fish to commit to the bait. Don't be afraid to try different colors as well. Hope that helps. Good luck! Tom

Name: baitfish

Catfish hit it! Start out slow and work your way up. If you have tried a few different spots and varied your retrieve from none to fast and twitching, then try a different color and size grub. You will get bit more on the smaller grubs, but the bigger grubs, 2”-3” will get you larger fish over time. If all these things still don’t work, there just may not be fish holding in that spot. But if you are convinced there are, toss some bloodworms in and see what happens, if they are still not hitting, pack up your gear and move to a new area down the road. Adam, I fish therefore I... spend too much money on gear:)

Name: Davey jones

Try finding that first bite, you know the one that says fish are there; because perch have a school mentality, they will feed on a spot and move on; so find the spot they are at, or the spot they have not been to yet. I think it is called post feeding. A school of 10 perch can clean out a spot and move on. Try to mimic the size of the bait, and the speed of that size bait, and don’t forget they are sampling the bait first and swimming with it also, so the hook set is from the tension in the line. The speed is going to be based around the size of their feeding ground; they won’t wander (safety in numbers). Your topic is like kibitzing at the Super Bowl (there are so many opinions). I think perch are my favorite fish just because of their size and fight.

Name: quietman

OK I gotta chime in... My ideal is probably a bit different from conventional wisdom dictates, because of how I enjoy perch fishing. I like to fish the surf wading and casting as if trout fishing in a stream. I also am really into ultralight fishing and am always using lighter tackle than most people would, so my ideal may seem a little odd. Also I do not spend a lot of money on rods/reels to get the really “good” stuff. I have never felt like I was missing anything by using the less expensive versions of the quality makes. Maybe I will change someday, dunno.

My current favorite rig is a Quantum TETON rod, TLS66L 6’6” light action with a Shimano AXUL-S super ultralight graphite reel with 2 pound test line, green maxima XL. I might get a 7’ teton...

I mostly use Carolina rig grubs on owner hooks, which is pretty much the standard rig, I posted a picture to PFIC. I use 1/4 and 3/16 bullet weights usually, but plan on going lighter if the surf goes flat. I have gone heavier to cast over the breakers farther, but rarely. I also bring a spool of line with me in my waders, two pound test doesn't last long. I understand that this set up might not reach perch when they are “way out there” but I would just go fish somewhere else then. The joy of this type of fishing for me is to cast to perch/halibut/corvina that are holding and feeding in the surf zone like trout do in a stream.

Way fun! I have a great time even when I don't get bit, because I'm always anticipating I will. I usually start with long casts and a slow steady retrieve. I will switch to pausing and just letting the grub work if it's in a spot I feel must hold fish, like a hole or edge of a drop-off. I’ll just barely keep the line tight to feel, and even payout line with the surge if I think it will drop it into a good spot. Like trout. I have tried faster and stop and go retrieves out of desperation, and caught a couple nice perch at Doheny that way after all else had failed a week ago.

Name: pierangler8787

Thanks everyone. I will keep all those tips in mind. Quitman- I use that Teton rod a lot and have the exact model. I use it for most of my surf fishing as well as harbor and bay, and on piers with Sabikis or for perch. Great fight and a light tip to feel the bite even on micro perch in rough surf and tiny pinhead anchovies pecking. Thanks again guys, got the fishing bug and can’t wait to get out at again. 50 2” Motor oil with red flake grubs soaking in Calico Cocktail just waiting to be eaten.