4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Guitars on the Beach

An Entertaining Treat for Surf Anglers

A pair of California corbina bracketing a pair of guitarras (shovelnose guitarfish) will make for fine eating.
A pair of California corbina bracketing a pair of guitarras (shovelnose guitarfish) will make for fine eating.

Saltwater: The full moon phase at the beginning of the week coupled with breezy conditions slowed the bite across the board for the fleet. That said, fishing was spotty for some trips yet still very good overall for anglers aboard full day to 2.5-day trips for yellowtail, bluefin, dorado, and yellowfin. Bluefin are showing up best in numbers and size about 30 miles southwest of San Clemente Island around the Cortez and Tanner banks. Yellowtail, yellowfin, and dorado are biting well at the 9-Mile Bank, Coronado Islands and south along the Baja coast. Much of the fleet heading that way is fishing an area 20 to 50 miles off the coast between Rosarito to Ensenada, including the 371, Upper Finger, Airplane, and Hidden banks.

Inshore, the La Jolla flats outside of the reserve from the north of the kelp beds to the canyon has been productive for a good grade of yellowtail and a few large white seabass and halibut for private boaters, half day trips, and kayakers. Sardines and squid fished near the bottom on a dropper loop or other weighted rig in 90 to 130 feet of water is working best for yellowtail are ranging from 15 to 35 pounds. Squid have been in their bellies, some about twice the size of the normal market squid one can find at the market, and indications are yellowtail are feeding in the lower portion of the water column. Yoyo irons in squid or scrambled egg colors will also get these fish biting, and early morning from first light to 10AM has been the best timeframe, which is often the case when squid are around.

For anglers fishing from the beach, surf perch, corbina, and rays have been common on bait including sand crabs, blood worms, clams, and cut sardines. There have been a lot of shovelnose guitarfish caught lately, as the species feeds in the warm shallows this time of year when baitfish are in close and sand crabs are prolific in the surf line and swash on the beach. Often, while feeding on sand crabs, one will see a corbina or ‘guitarra’ hanging on and seemingly nearly stranding as the swash recedes. These two species feed by flaring their gills while ‘blowing’ out and sucking up sand crabs that are a few inches deep in the sand. At the last second, they will turn and let the backwash carry them back into the sea.

When corbina, rays, and perch are feeding along the shore, sight-fishing the white water between the last surf and the sand can be productive, but I have found that getting your bait or lure out just behind the breakers works better. In observing from the kayak or better, from a pier, I have noticed a common pattern of species that feed in the surf. They tend to swim parallel to the beach in the clearer water behind the break, then dart in to feed during the larger waves in the set. This is due to turbulence in the shallows washing crabs up out of the sand, and the fish can access crabs higher in the swash for a longer period.

A surf rig, dropper loop, or Carolina rig works best with bait from the beach with hooks sized to the bait used, and enough weigh to cast just beyond the waves. Halibut, too, will feed in the surf, though lures like Lucky Craft, spoons, and scented grubs will get more action than bait. The better times to target species that feed in the surf line is during a two-hour window before and after high tide, with the top to middle span of the receding tide being best. Surf perch and corbina are excellent table fare with flaky white meat that works well fried whole, breaded and fried in strips for finger food or tacos, or prepared in ceviche being the most common methods. Though their appearance can be off-putting when considering eating your catch, guitarras, or shovelnose guitarfish, have two loins of meat that run from behind the head to the tail. They fight with stubborn runs and are very strong, making for a lot of fun on the light tackle usually used in the surf. Very popular south of the border, guitarfish meat texture and taste is similar to mako shark, and is usually cut into chunks and breaded and fried in tacos or sauteed in butter with lots of paprika.

Fish Plants: 9/6, Lake Poway, catfish (1,250), Santee Lakes, catfish (1,000)

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Harry Partch, Gustavo Romero, Diamanda Galas

San DIego's grand pianos; Spreckels, First Methodist, St. Brigid's organs; tenor takes lessons, the piano repairman
Next Article

Property astir on El Cajon Blvd.

Lafayette Hotel, Red Fox Room, Mississippi Apartments
A pair of California corbina bracketing a pair of guitarras (shovelnose guitarfish) will make for fine eating.
A pair of California corbina bracketing a pair of guitarras (shovelnose guitarfish) will make for fine eating.

Saltwater: The full moon phase at the beginning of the week coupled with breezy conditions slowed the bite across the board for the fleet. That said, fishing was spotty for some trips yet still very good overall for anglers aboard full day to 2.5-day trips for yellowtail, bluefin, dorado, and yellowfin. Bluefin are showing up best in numbers and size about 30 miles southwest of San Clemente Island around the Cortez and Tanner banks. Yellowtail, yellowfin, and dorado are biting well at the 9-Mile Bank, Coronado Islands and south along the Baja coast. Much of the fleet heading that way is fishing an area 20 to 50 miles off the coast between Rosarito to Ensenada, including the 371, Upper Finger, Airplane, and Hidden banks.

Inshore, the La Jolla flats outside of the reserve from the north of the kelp beds to the canyon has been productive for a good grade of yellowtail and a few large white seabass and halibut for private boaters, half day trips, and kayakers. Sardines and squid fished near the bottom on a dropper loop or other weighted rig in 90 to 130 feet of water is working best for yellowtail are ranging from 15 to 35 pounds. Squid have been in their bellies, some about twice the size of the normal market squid one can find at the market, and indications are yellowtail are feeding in the lower portion of the water column. Yoyo irons in squid or scrambled egg colors will also get these fish biting, and early morning from first light to 10AM has been the best timeframe, which is often the case when squid are around.

For anglers fishing from the beach, surf perch, corbina, and rays have been common on bait including sand crabs, blood worms, clams, and cut sardines. There have been a lot of shovelnose guitarfish caught lately, as the species feeds in the warm shallows this time of year when baitfish are in close and sand crabs are prolific in the surf line and swash on the beach. Often, while feeding on sand crabs, one will see a corbina or ‘guitarra’ hanging on and seemingly nearly stranding as the swash recedes. These two species feed by flaring their gills while ‘blowing’ out and sucking up sand crabs that are a few inches deep in the sand. At the last second, they will turn and let the backwash carry them back into the sea.

When corbina, rays, and perch are feeding along the shore, sight-fishing the white water between the last surf and the sand can be productive, but I have found that getting your bait or lure out just behind the breakers works better. In observing from the kayak or better, from a pier, I have noticed a common pattern of species that feed in the surf. They tend to swim parallel to the beach in the clearer water behind the break, then dart in to feed during the larger waves in the set. This is due to turbulence in the shallows washing crabs up out of the sand, and the fish can access crabs higher in the swash for a longer period.

A surf rig, dropper loop, or Carolina rig works best with bait from the beach with hooks sized to the bait used, and enough weigh to cast just beyond the waves. Halibut, too, will feed in the surf, though lures like Lucky Craft, spoons, and scented grubs will get more action than bait. The better times to target species that feed in the surf line is during a two-hour window before and after high tide, with the top to middle span of the receding tide being best. Surf perch and corbina are excellent table fare with flaky white meat that works well fried whole, breaded and fried in strips for finger food or tacos, or prepared in ceviche being the most common methods. Though their appearance can be off-putting when considering eating your catch, guitarras, or shovelnose guitarfish, have two loins of meat that run from behind the head to the tail. They fight with stubborn runs and are very strong, making for a lot of fun on the light tackle usually used in the surf. Very popular south of the border, guitarfish meat texture and taste is similar to mako shark, and is usually cut into chunks and breaded and fried in tacos or sauteed in butter with lots of paprika.

Fish Plants: 9/6, Lake Poway, catfish (1,250), Santee Lakes, catfish (1,000)

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

The conspicuous Floss Silk Tree has flowers like hibiscuses

The black oak is the only deciduous oak native to San Diego
Next Article

Here’s what vegans were lining up for in Encinitas

The new game in plant-based meats is pork… and imitation spiced ham
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close