New Fisherman in North Coast with a Couple Questions

Hi All,
I fished a good bit in my childhood, though always freshwater, and am trying to get into this hobby. I feel like I've done a pretty good job of combining the forces of google, youtube, and reading a few actual books about the topic of surf/pier/rock fishing in Northern California and even made a couple trips out to the coast now to try it out. Unfortunately I've been without a bite on those trips, though I'm not discouraged by that. Okay enough back story, and onto the question. Please feel free to just tell me to google, and maybe some hints on what to check as well.

1. I'm located just North of Santa Rosa in Healdsburg, and will happily drive 1-2 hours (though preferably West/North West) to get to the coast and fish. Where are your go to general locations to consistently catch something, and any general gear tips for that. I'm not picky on exactly what, just looking to have fun fishing and a hobby that gets me off the computer and occasionally something I can cook up.
- This weekend I fished the Spud Point Pier on incoming and outgoing tide with Sabikis and a high-low with Squid and Gulp Sandworms. No one out there was getting any bites, and other than some tiny bait fish it seemed pretty quiet. I also tried surf fishing at Russian Gulch (Sononoma) with an assortment of setups and the southern jetty at the Bodega Harbor. I probably could have been more patient and didn't take a rob holder or sand spike so I might be to blame for the lack of action.

2. Now I'm getting really needy, but any Newbie tips? I'm feeling pretty confident with knots, how to setup up my lines, and all of the other basics thanks to a childhood of camping, but I'd appreciate any tips at all! Bonus points if they are for the areas for Tomales and Bodega Bay north, but any local tips I'll use, and contribute anything I can back to the community.

(Extra Info- I have an assortment of poles and equipment so don't hold back on the suggestions)
Thanks... I've actually already read almost all of the applicable posts on this site, and browsed his other blog. Some seems slightly out of date, but I've taken note of it and put what I could to use at spud point, though I need to setup a float to try the configuration he suggested for smelt etc. (I'll have to setup next time, and take crab pot). I ordered the book, as I like to support content makers and also have read A Seaforager's Guide to Northern California cover to cover. I was just looking for any other times, especially as pertains to this time of year or specific locations.
Cheers and thank you for the response!
I am originally from Cloverdale, and as a child, went on many camping trips along the Mendocino, and northern Sonoma Coast. I would suggest places up there like Salt Point State Park (Gerstle Cove Reserve is closed to fishing, but surrounding area is good for rockfishing), and provides nice camping options as well.

Point Arena Pier is always a good bet, and I have had consistent success there in the past for Cabezon, Greenling, and the occasional ling cod using a simple high-lo setup, with frozen squid, shrimp or anchovies.

Also, the Mendocino coast from the mouth of the Navarro River on up through Fort Bragg can provide good surf fishing and rockfishing options, at many of the various public day use beach access areas, and state parks.

As you are in Healdsburg, a fun day trip may be to take Skagg Springs rd. from Lake Sonoma over to Stewarts point, and the salt point state park area. It is a narrow and windy road, but very scenic.

Hope that you can try these areas, I live in Salinas now, and miss the north coast!
Thanks for the Advice. I love salt point, and Point Arena pier was the next place on my list to visit. To get too technical, what hook sizes would you use on the pier, with the high-low?
(Found my Answer on the page about the pier. So disregard the question)
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Four recommendations:

1.) As stated above, Point Arena pier is probably the spot with the best odds. Two setups I have had good luck with here: high/low with a 2oz torpedo sinker and size 4 hooks with pieces of fresh market shrimp for greenling/striped perch, and high/low with 2oz torpedo sinker and size 1-2/0 hook with squid (fresh if you can get it but frozen is also fine - I use heads or large, triangular strips hooked twice) for rockfish, cabezon, and occasional lingcod.

2.) Dillon Beach (pay to park in summer) - walk left out of parking lot towards mouth of Tomales Bay, looking for troughs/steep lip areas or holes. Use a carolina rig with a 3/4-1oz egg sinker and a 4 or 6 baitholder hook w/ a 2inch or 6inch (depending on fish size & tendency to short strike on that day) gulp sandworm in camo or red. I use a short 12-16" leader to reduce tangles and generally use a 8-9 foot steelhead rod with a 3000 or 4000 series reel and braided line. Cast and reel SLOWLY through areas mentioned above for perch and occasional stripers. If you want to fish a lure here w/ a better chance for a striper (or large perch) in season (late May - Sep), use a Lucky Craft 110 flash minnow in metallic sardine. Cast and reel w/ a medium speed, straight in grind with your rod tip up slightly. If you are exclusively targeting stripers and the water is rougher or it is windy, a 1oz white hair raiser (bucktail jig) with a white twist tail grub is your best bet. Fish this tip down with short, erratic hops on a slow retrieve.

3.) South Jetty at Bodega (gets less fishing pressure) - park at Campbell Cove. Use the second high/low setup described above with squid for rockfish, cabezon, and lingcod. You can also fish one or two dark colored swimbaits (keitech or similar) on a drop shot or high low rig with a 1.5-2oz torpedo, or a 4-5 inch dark swimbait (big hammer etc) on a 3/4-1oz warbaits style weedless jighead. Fish both with steady slow retrieve (just barely making contact w/ bottom) + occasional twitches/hops.

4.) Bolinas Lagoon inlet during summer (get there very early or very late and park on wharf rd) - fishes best at night. Use salmon belly or squid chunks on a 5/0-8/0 circle hook with a 60lb+ leader and 4-6oz pyramid sinker on a fishfinder rig + heavy surf rod (9+ ft, at least 30lb braid on large spinning reel) for large leopard sharks and bat rays. Bring a sand spike. The upper reaches of the bay (mudflats) are also good when the tide is high/incoming - park on the side of the road at one of the pull-offs, you will usually see other fisherman here in June-Aug. Can also do this kind of fishing inside Bodega bay, but I haven't fished for sharks there so I can't give you great intel on spots.

Best of luck!
Yeah, take a day or two and go to Point Arena. Good fishing, nice small town with enough amenities. I am not a super technical fisherman, I just use size 1/0 hooks, with chunks or strips of squid. Frozen shrimp are good too. You will be sure to find striped surfperch on the pier, and hopefully others. I haven't fished it in years, and hope to get back there soon myself