The big surf of the past week has completely rearranged the beach in San Clemente, creating lots of great structure, especially at the south end of
town where the shoreline bends around to San Mateo Point and the Nixon Western White House.
I hit the suds at first light this morning at La Riviera, and worked into the sun on a reverse wade, probing any likely dark (deep) spots. It was pretty slow going for the first hour or so with all the water in the beach, but a little more daylight and some pull off the beach finally got the fish biting. A tandem of surfworm dropper and a white Clouser point-fly did most of the damage early on, with a couple rips holding pancake halibut. There was no definite preference for either fly, so long as you went deep and slow across the right-to-left current.
I expected to find yellowfin croaker on the gravel bars, but was pleasantly surprised to jump several schools of bared surf perch, waiting on both sides of the points extending offshore. No “doubles,” but it was good to see our old friends back, most of them hand-size. Could it be that they will return in numbers this year?
Past San Clement State Park, the beach got lots steeper, and the holes and rips even larger! You definitely will find this tough (and dangerous) going if the surf gets up to more than 3’. Despite the “big water,” the butts that came to hand were still on the short side.
I was a little late getting down to the reef at the point, but there was still plenty going on when I did, and the water visibility was good to excellent. As the tide continued to drain the beach, definite lanes began to develop, connecting deep, rocky bottom with sand bars. A few more short halibut and perch kept it interesting , and then wham, I get rocked hard and line is peeling off the reel. At first it felt like a good “butt,” but the fish’s speed of departure suggesting something else. In the end, a nice, heavy 26” corbina surrendered for a photo op.. Very unusual to see such green hues on a bean, but he blended in well with the rocky areas.
I spotted several more cruising corbina, but sight-fishing them with a 13’, 8 wt. spey rod is next to impossible, especially with 26’ of T-14
shooting head and monofilament running line. Called it a day at 3pm after studying and making some more notes of additional rips on the long walk
back to the car.
Conditions: Water temperature- 59-61*F. Water visibility- good to excellent; better as the tide ebbed out. Weather- 39*F, up to 61*F, with bright sunny skies. Surf- 1-2’, at 7-8 seconds. Flies- size 4 surfworms, weighted and unweighted. 2-3” Clousers, white/white, olive/white.
Sweet outing. Encouraging to see some nice fish coming out of the SoCal surf at this time of the year.
The green bean color is reminiscent of them Molokai bonefish.......interesting!
Happy New Year Kim. Keep hooking them up! Lew
Happy New Year Kim! Fun report. What are the rubber bands on the rod handle for - I assume keeping rod pieces together when disassembled?
The rubber bands have two purposes: they double to keep all the rod pieces together when moving about; as you observed; but are primarily there to provide friction to help grip monofilament running lines (e.g. Rio Slickshooter, OPST Lazar line, etc.) when Skagit casting - they’re a bear to hold on to when it gets icy. Great observation! :)