San Clemente, Saturday 1/9 Team Slow day interrupted by 5 Croakers

evanluck

Well-known member
#1
Was the slowest day we've ever experienced as a team here at San Clemente. There have been slow days, even one skunk on short mornings that I have come by myself but on these longer trips where we were fishing for more than 8 hours, we've previously done very well. We had live ghost shrimp, lug worms, blood worms, squid, market shrimp, and frozen mussels as choices for bait. A disappointing thing that happened was after I baited the first hooks, we lost track of our blood worms. Seeing that this had been the best performing bait on previous trips, it was difficult not to get preoccupied when they went missing.

Hard for us to find the bites today and when we did there was lots of sampling even. The water was being stirred about a lot and there was lots of kelp that was being snagged on our hooks and lines. We did as good of a job as we could reeling in to check bait and even moving the bait through the water slowly to try to find the fish. Bite on the reef was almost not existent. I switched up our rigs so that the location of the hooks were slightly higher. I doubt this is what contributed to the slow day but it was something that I changed. To break the skunk early on my girl caught a couple queen fish. Then she landed three spot fin croakers. One smaller one and two decent sized ones.

Affinity for bait was difficult to pinpoint but by the middle fo the day, it was clear that squid was attracting the most bites. I caught a wall eye surf perch, a smaller yellowfin croaker, a couple jack smelt, and a larger yellowfin croaker. Finally when my girl reel up my light setup as I was cleaning fish there was a small kelp fish at the end of it.

Most satisfying catch for me was the last yellowfin croaker. It was a good sized fish and in an uncharacteristic way, it was playing with the bait I had on my larger setup (fish finder with a size 6 bait holder hook). This was a squid head and it nibbled a half dozen times until it committed hard enough to set the hook. I was sure it was a Spotfin because in my experience they tend to play with bait more than yellowfin. But when I reeled it up it was a decent size yellow fin croaker.

Slow day but I still had fun. I enjoy figuring out the puzzle of trying to catch the fish. It is a multi-dimensional problem with lots of factors.
 

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MisterT

Active member
#2
Despite a slow day you still managed to catch. That is a success to me! :)

I've done multiple lengthy sessions last year where I skunked (surf fishing). I can remember after a long session that resulted in not only a skunk but one of the worst sun burns I've ever experienced.

Thanks for sharing once again.
 

Stickman

Well-known member
#3
"I enjoy figuring out the puzzle of trying to catch the fish. It is a multi-dimensional problem with lots of factors."

Yes! That is what keeps me excited about fishing even after all of theses years. The "multi-dimensional puzzle"
keeps it ever fresh and fun. Thanks again for taking the time to post reports (and pictures!) of your excursions.
They are always fun to read, and we all learn so much when fisherfolk share such reports.
 
#4
Was the slowest day we've ever experienced as a team here at San Clemente. There have been slow days, even one skunk on short mornings that I have come by myself but on these longer trips where we were fishing for more than 8 hours, we've previously done very well. We had live ghost shrimp, lug worms, blood worms, squid, market shrimp, and frozen mussels as choices for bait. A disappointing thing that happened was after I baited the first hooks, we lost track of our blood worms. Seeing that this had been the best performing bait on previous trips, it was difficult not to get preoccupied when they went missing.

Hard for us to find the bites today and when we did there was lots of sampling even. The water was being stirred about a lot and there was lots of kelp that was being snagged on our hooks and lines. We did as good of a job as we could reeling in to check bait and even moving the bait through the water slowly to try to find the fish. Bite on the reef was almost not existent. I switched up our rigs so that the location of the hooks were slightly higher. I doubt this is what contributed to the slow day but it was something that I changed. To break the skunk early on my girl caught a couple queen fish. Then she landed three spot fin croakers. One smaller one and two decent sized ones.

Affinity for bait was difficult to pinpoint but by the middle fo the day, it was clear that squid was attracting the most bites. I caught a wall eye surf perch, a smaller yellowfin croaker, a couple jack smelt, and a larger yellowfin croaker. Finally when my girl reel up my light setup as I was cleaning fish there was a small kelp fish at the end of it.

Most satisfying catch for me was the last yellowfin croaker. It was a good sized fish and in an uncharacteristic way, it was playing with the bait I had on my larger setup (fish finder with a size 6 bait holder hook). This was a squid head and it nibbled a half dozen times until it committed hard enough to set the hook. I was sure it was a Spotfin because in my experience they tend to play with bait more than yellowfin. But when I reeled it up it was a decent size yellow fin croaker.

Slow day but I still had fun. I enjoy figuring out the puzzle of trying to catch the fish. It is a multi-dimensional problem with lots of factors.
My wife and I were fishing in front of bait shop on Saturday. I recognized you from a photo. We caught 1 spotfin and 3 jacksmelt on squid and anchovy. Beautiful day but fish bite was slow. We will stop by next time our paths cross. 👍
 

evanluck

Well-known member
#5
My wife and I were fishing in front of bait shop on Saturday. I recognized you from a photo. We caught 1 spotfin and 3 jacksmelt on squid and anchovy. Beautiful day but fish bite was slow. We will stop by next time our paths cross. 👍
I think I remember you! You caught that spotfin early on and were negotiating with one of the shark kids to trade the fish for his spot at the end of the pier when he left right?!

Yeah for sure, say "what's up!" next time. Would love to meet you and your wife and talk fishing and trade information about what's working and what's not working. I think that is a under estimated part of fishing is when people cooperate to get each other on the fish!
 
#6
I think I remember you! You caught that spotfin early on and were negotiating with one of the shark kids to trade the fish for his spot at the end of the pier when he left right?!

Yeah for sure, say "what's up!" next time. Would love to meet you and your wife and talk fishing and trade information about what's working and what's not working. I think that is a under estimated part of fishing is when people cooperate to get each other on the fish!
You have someone else in mind. No problem, we'll meet one day.