Santa Cruz, Saturday 09.

#1
Hi,

This Saturday after refreshing on pier techniques from Ken's excellent book I tried fishing from Santa Cruz.
I tried for flat fish with squid at the end of the pier. Nothing. I tried for jacksmelt at the end and middle of the pier, with anchovies, shrimp and squid. Nothing. I tried close to the surface with a bobber, and close to the bottom without it. Nothing. I tried with small #10, #8 and #6 hooks. Nothing. I tried jigging a plane sabiki to no avail. I moved close to the surf zone and tried for perch with shrimp, anchovy and Gulp plastic worms. Nothing.

After trying everything I could come with and getting zero bites for several hours, I left.
Did I forget how to fish or there are absolutely no fish at SC Wharf in winter?

Regards
N.
 

evanluck

Well-known member
#2
Seems like the bay area has more drastic changes during the winter because it gets colder up there. Good job for getting out there and trying everything you could and thanks for the report!

I'll let the locals from up there comment more specifically. I do notice the bay area YouTubers are saltwater fishing less. Many of them are freshwater fishing, coastal foraging, crabbing, etc.
 

Stickman

Well-known member
#4
"Did I forget how to fish or there are absolutely no fish at SC Wharf in winter?"

If I had a Nickle for every time I have asked that very question, well I'd have a whole lot o' nickels.
Like what do I have to do to get a bite; put on a skirt and do the Hula? The only thing worse than the perfect skunk you reported is when you bring another fisher along with you because "last time I couldn't keep 'em off the hook!" Nature has a mind and rhythm
of its own. Meaning even the best angler among us will be visited by the skunk. I have been on trips with professional guides where collectively the three clients had paid upwards of $1000.00 for the 6 + hour trip on some of the best fishing waters in the world and scored a perfect 0 bites for 0 fish. It never occurred to us to complain about our guide because: 1. he was working his butt off for then entire 6 plus hours on the water to get us onto some fish, and 2. we all know that that is the nature of this wonderful addiction we all share. Thanks for your repot, we are all with you in spirit!
 
#5
Hey Nacho
Thank you for the excellent and thorough report. Knowing what the fish aren't doing is as good as knowing what they are. Once, at that very pier, we couldn't keep the perch off using white crappie jigs next to the pilings. Big shiner perch ! So a few years later I planned a vacation with my adult son to capitalize on my "secret" technique. You guessed it. A whole day of skunk city. File it all in your fishing journal. I think mid February or so the perch start working the beaches around Monterey bay with the occasional striper mixed in. Historically speaking. Don't give up, good luck
jim
 

Ken Jones

Administrator
Staff member
#6
It happens to all of us. The last monthly report for Santa Cruz —
https://www.pierfishing.com/msgboar...1-fishing-report-central-california-262.1757/
reported things were dead due in large part to the rough seas and swell. I don't know if the same conditions persist but sometimes after such conditions it takes a while for the fishing to pick up again. I am surprised that jacksmelt weren't around, they are usually a pretty reliable fish. Ditto the inshore perch but again they may have moved due to recent conditions. It sounds like the problem wasn't you, you tried a variety of techniques and bait and that's about all one can do. Better luck next time!
 
#7
Hi,

This Saturday after refreshing on pier techniques from Ken's excellent book I tried fishing from Santa Cruz.
I tried for flat fish with squid at the end of the pier. Nothing. I tried for jacksmelt at the end and middle of the pier, with anchovies, shrimp and squid. Nothing. I tried close to the surface with a bobber, and close to the bottom without it. Nothing. I tried with small #10, #8 and #6 hooks. Nothing. I tried jigging a plane sabiki to no avail. I moved close to the surf zone and tried for perch with shrimp, anchovy and Gulp plastic worms. Nothing.

After trying everything I could come with and getting zero bites for several hours, I left.
Did I forget how to fish or there are absolutely no fish at SC Wharf in winter?

Regards
N.
I fished SC Wharf on the same day! There were no bites in the early afternoon. Seems like 1-3PM is dead time for many Bay Area piers. Bites picked up in the late afternoon and evening. Caught many kingfish on hi-low with squid. I used size 4 and 8 hooks. The left side, while facing the ocean, is the best IMO.
 
#8
I had planned to fish the Wharf that same day as well but after looking at the tides and swell, I did not go. The tide was going out all day and dropped to -1.1ft from 5ft or so, lots of movement. Also swells were forecast to be big (relatively), lots more movement. In my limited experience, fishing at the wharf is best when the water is calm. I have many skunks under my belt and most were during rough conditions.

It is interesting that the croakers moved in at the bottom of the tide according to the second report. I have experienced success on a low tide in murky water with that species at the wharf in the past. Glow in the dark shrimp Sabiki tipped with squid yielded a double every cast when last I experienced this.

Let's hope for calmer seas and some rain to draw in those tasty little flat fish who love the run off from the river, or no rain and calm seas so at least the crab can feed...

Better luck next time.