Posted by: socalsalty | February 27, 2011

New Species and Trip Report: Jake-a-palooza

Jake Scores a Rubber Lipped Surf Perch

Jake is the star of the show today.  I had the kids this weekend and as the weekend began, fishing was not a part of the picture.  As I left work on Friday, it was raining cats and dogs and there was talk of…wait for it…snow in SoCal.  As is typically the case here, Storm Watch 2011 turned out to be just the latest local news hype.  It did get cold last night, and we did see a light dusting on our brown foothills, but predictions of snow on the Hollywood sign did not materialize.

I’m not complaining.  The weather and the combination of Juliana willing to give a boat another try led to us heading down to Dana Point Harbor.  Dana Wharf Sportfishing is the first place I took Jake on a charter boat, and they run a cool program on Sundays aimed at kids and their parents.  At noon on Sundays, they do a fishing clinic on a boat, and then at 12:30 they run a half day trip where kids get to ride for free.

We hadn’t gone in awhile and today seemed like a good day for it.  So off we went, fighting our way south through I-5 traffic.  We managed to actually get to Dana Wharf in time only to find that there aren’t enough people to go out today.  C’mon people…really?!?!  Beautiful Southern California day, kids ride free, and there aren’t enough people to go out?

Plan B, we head down a couple more exits south on the 5 to San Clemente and make our way down to the pier.  San Clemente pier is one of my favorite piers in SoCal.  There are restaurants at the beginning of the pier, so if you are just out for a stroll or taking a break from the beach, surfing or fishing, you can grab some food and drink and then be back at whatever you are doing without a lot of hassle.  There’s also bathrooms mid-pier, benches

Rubber Lipped Surf Perch: Can you guess where the name comes from?

all along the pier, and a bait/snack shop at the end of the pier.  Insider tip, you want to buy your bait at the mini-mart by the parking lot before you cross the street to the pier.  Jake, Juliana and I picked up some squid and some snacks there and made our way down the pier.

Jake had it in his mind for some reason, that today was going to be the day we scored a legal halibut from a pier.  A legal flattie measures 22 inches.  Getting one is not an insignificant accomplishment, and the reward is some very tasty eats.  However, today was not to be the day for a legal flattie.  In fact, Juju and I both came up empty for our efforts.  Jake however picked up a nice surf perch and in the process added a new species to the scoreboard…the Rubber Lipped Surf Perch!

Jake scored the perch using his Sculpin Slayer Calstar 195-6 footer, newly outfitted with an Abu 6501 lefty baitcaster.  Nice setup.  Despite the short rod, I found myself casting an easy 80-100 feet out using this combo.  It was rigged up with a reverse dropper loop, with a 2 oz torpedo and a size 2 light wire hook.

Juju with big brother's perch

Baiting the hook with a squid strip, Jake worked the area just beyond the surf break.  (NOTE: I recommend going with a lighter weight, but I was shorthanded today and we were making do).

I’ll cook that perch tomorrow night along with one of the red snappers that I caught on President’s Day.  I’ll take pics and report back if I manage to make something good out of it.

One funny note about the day, Juju was asking anyone who would listen, if they wanted to see our fish.  She was dogged about asking each passerby.  Any rejection left her unfazed, just a no until the next yes.  That girl is truly a chip off the old block 🙂



  1. Good to see you got some time on the water! I would have liked to see pics of snow on the Hollywood sign though…

    • FF, thanks for stopping by. Even though Salty goose egged, always a good day when I can hang out and get a line wet with my kids.

  2. Enjoyed reading your weekend trip!! Great for Jacob. At least Juju love showing the fish to the crowds!!

    • Thanks Auntie Phebe. Would be cooler if my parents could see too. I printed out a bunch of posts and sent it with the card the kids picked out for my dad’s birthday. He really enjoyed reading the posts and of course seeing the pics. Work on them next time you’re in Seattle. Love you!

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