San Clemente 11/30/20, Baaaaaah!

evanluck

Well-known member
#1
Got there around 4:15AM. This Pier opens at 4AM and parking at the adjoining lot is free until 10AM.

I used a sabiki to catch a queen fish and fish it on a carolina rig with a 1 oz sinker. No bites. I caught a couple smelt on the sabiki and switched the bait out to a medium sized smelt. Still the no bites.

I was also fishing a hi, low rig with a live ghost shrimp on one hook and a piece of cut shrimp on the other hook. Getting small bites. Bait stealers. Nothing strong enough to set the hook. I was using size 6 bait holder hooks. This rig was producing well on my previous visits but today the fish that it was attracting were too small to hook. I was intermittingly pulling up red kelp which was affecting the bite on this rig.

As the sun was rising there were lots of bait boils. Something was going after the tiny smelt on the surface. The predator fish looked small. Like maybe mackerel but it was difficult for me to see clearly because it was still dark.

I retied my other pole with a 2 oz. sliding sinker on a fish finder rig with a 3/0 circle hook and a very short (less than 1 foot leader). I casted this as far as I could with a full head on shrimp.

After a couple casts I finally found the spot with the fish. I hooked a good size fish and then it ran into the rocks. I let my line out and waiting for it to make a run for it. When it did, I reeled it in and it was a 14" Sheephead. This was my second ever Sheephead and this was the fish that I came here for!

I rebaited and 30 minutes later hooked up on a bigger fish that rubbed my line against the rocks and broke me off!

I retied and rebaited and left that line in the water all the up into all my stuff was cleaned up and I was ready to leave. No more detectable bites.

Happy to have caught this fish but of course it is the one that got away that is on my mind. Going back tomorrow to try and catch it or a bigger one!

I had the end of the pier to myself from when I got there until I left at 9:30AM.
 

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evanluck

Well-known member
#9
Thanks.
I know the place.
I/we (Skipper and I) miss Paul's in San Pedro.
Yeah I’m surprised at how few tackle shops in our area sell live bait.

Seems like a good way to draw people in and no way for the online stores to compete. The price is reasonable enough that I have a hard time justifying the time and learning curve it would take to go pump my own.
 

Makairaa

Well-known member
#10
Yeah I’m surprised at how few tackle shops in our area sell live bait.

Seems like a good way to draw people in and no way for the online stores to compete. The price is reasonable enough that I have a hard time justifying the time and learning curve it would take to go pump my own.
Most stores don’t sell them because they are too much hassle. They do not live long in a refrigerator. Nobody commercially harvests them locally so they are all shipped out of washington. The majority of guys fishing the surf use artificials now. And there are not the number of guys fishing the bays as there used to be. So the market has somewhat gone away. The biggest problem with getting your own is fnding the time. For the most part you can only pump them around low tde.
 

Mahigeer

Well-known member
#11
Oh the good old days.

Paul's used to donate to UPSAC events.

During one GTG at Catalina, they gave me so much that we could not finish them. One cooler full of them along with other baits.

So, before leaving, I went around and offered other anglers on the Mole free bait.
They could not believe it. Not all took some either.

At about $8.00 a 12 count ( if memory serves), it was a great donation.
 

Ken Jones

Administrator
Staff member
#12
Yes, that was a good store. He supplied fishing reports and I was able to fish with him and his son once at the Cabrillo Pier. I don't remember why they closed up shop.