Hermosa Beach Pier 8-10-20

SC McCarty

Well-known member
#1
A friend and I went to Hermosa Beach after reading about the bonito. We arrived at about 9:00 AM. I started with a triple dropper (size 6 & 8) baited with shrimp or squid fished off the bottom. My second rig was an unbaited, size 10, hand tied, sabiki, hoping for bait. At first, most of the action seemed to be on the other (north) side of the pier. After about an hour, I caught a 12 in(?) mackerel on the sabiki. While cleaning that fish, two more mackerel hit the bait rig. My friend also started getting mackerel. A short time later, I got multiple fish on my sabiki. I assumed they were more mackerel, but two of the three fish were 10 in bonito (my first). The other two flies on the rig were missing, so I had a full rig. After that I swapped the sabiki with a Krocodile, followed by a colt sniper with no success.

Over all I caught two bonito and about 6 or 7 mackerel. My friend caught 5 mackerel and a good sized jacksmelt.

Steve
 

MisterT

Active member
#3
My pier growing up was Hermosa and I've always noticed significantly better action on the north side. (Once you go towards the end then both sides are good but the north side is usually better.)

Thanks for the report!
 

SC McCarty

Well-known member
#4
Well, they are small but you've now joined the bonito seekers.Wait till you catch some big ones.
Ken,
I was hoping to catch some bigger ones when I changed to lures, but no such luck. I was a little disappointed with the fight. The single mackerel I caught earlier fought as well or better. I think having between three and five fish on the line, they were fighting each other more than they were fighting me. Even so, I was happy with the catch. Besides being a first, which always pleases me, I got to see them in life, and they are so much more beautiful than even the best pictures I've seen.

It will be a while before I can head back down to Hermosa Beach, so I hope they stick around or move up the coast. I would like to catch some larger ones.

My pier growing up was Hermosa and I've always noticed significantly better action on the north side. (Once you go towards the end then both sides are good but the north side is usually better.)
Thanks for the report!
MisterT,
Thanks for the advice. It goes with what Ken had in his pier article. When we got to the pier, the north side was pretty full (considering social distancing). So we set up on the south. There was a brief time when some space opened up on the north side, but I did not switch over quickly enough, and other people filled it in.

Steve
 

Ken Jones

Administrator
Staff member
#6
There is a tremendous difference in the fighting ability of the large versus small bonito as well as a noticable difference in how they will take bait or a lure. The little ones just aren't the same challenge but they are still fun to catch.
 

MisterT

Active member
#7
There is a tremendous difference in the fighting ability of the large versus small bonito as well as a noticable difference in how they will take bait or a lure. The little ones just aren't the same challenge but they are still fun to catch.
I find the fight of a bonito is equivalent to fighting 2-4 mackerel (depending of size). The bonito strike on the lure and the fight is exciting!
 
#8
Met up with a fishing buddy yesterday to see if we could catch bonito and get a break from the heat.

I fished from 6 am til noon. Tried a mix of jigs ( Kastmaster, Krocodile and Jigpara) the first couple of hours with no luck.

I switched over to the splasher rig (wooden egg tied to 30# braid main line and green/white feather tied to 6 foot 10# mono leader) and proceeded to catch smaller bonito from 830-9 am. The bite died until noon when I caught a decent pier sized one.

Slow day on the pier with an occasional boil here and there, but always fun to catch bonito on the splasher rig, lightning fast strikes!
 

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SC McCarty

Well-known member
#10
. . . Looks like we may have the bonito through the fall. Have to get back down there.
I don't know what the future holds, but the waters have warmed all along the south coast:
sb_200823 cropped.png
(White lines represent 2° F).

Air quality is currently poor, because of all the fires, but may be better the central coast or San Joaquin Valley.

I am hoping that the water continues to warm, and pushes some of the pelagic species up to Ventura County. If not I will probably try Hermosa again Admission Day, the Friday before Labor Day.

Steve
 
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#12
DiegoGarciaWahoos,

Your description of the splasher rig fits well with Ken's, but do you have any problems casting underhand with a 6 ft leader?

Steve
Steve, I add a small screw on the side of the egg to attach the leader/fly hook. This shortens the leader length in half. When the egg hits the water or sometimes in mid-air the leader comes right off and you’re good to go. I just made an egg with a 1.5 oz torpedo sinker added inside of the egg to get more distance. I think the bigger bonito nail the fly further out from the pier.