Posted by: socalsalty | July 9, 2012

Midyear Assessment

I had some fishing goals at the start of the year.  In terms of fish, it was to complete my Top 10 and to get a roosterfish.  In terms of fishing skills, it was to improve my use of irons and swimbaits.  With that background understanding, let’s see where things stand…

The Top 10 + Roosterfish

Doesn’t really cut it

I’m 8 of 10 halfway through the year.  I’m ahead of schedule.  The only ones left are #2 Tuna and #3 White Seabass.  The offshore season is only just now kicking off, so it’s kind of early for tuna.  I’ve gone offshore once to not a great result, but I’ll get my chances.  The counts are improving by the day.  I feel good about tuna.

White seabass is another story…I’ve been out now 6 times with seabass on my mind.  I’ve seen several go over the rail, but I only have one bite to show for my efforts.

I got my rooster…


If things play out on WSB and tuna, I’ll try to get a more impressive sheephead before the end of the year.

Throwing The Jig

Embrace the big stick

Last summer, my buddy John found me a beautiful 10ft Calstar 540 jig stick.  It scared the hell out of me to use that thing.  Whenever I brought it on a boat, it felt like every eye was on me.  Throwing it felt like teeing off in front of a big crowd.  I have now overcome that fear.  I haven’t caught anything with it…yet.  I still birdnest it every 4th or 5th throw, but I understand how to throw it now.  I am even able to correct my mistakes…sometimes mid-throw.  Still a long ways to go, but making progress.


It’s taking time, but I’m making progress.  I caught that big cabezon on the Pacific Islander on a swimbait, but I’m thinking more about calico bass in the kelp.  It’s not so much the act now of throwing

Pulled one out of the Pt. Loma kelp!

swimbaits, it’s recognizing what works at what time.  It’s understanding the tradeoffs of getting bit with a smaller bait, vs. committing to a bigger one and scoring a bigger fish.  It’s understanding where to find the lanes between the kelp that will spark a reaction bite AND allow you to get the fish to the boat.  It’s being patient when that fish does lodge itself in the kelp and finding a way to get it out.  Last week I got my first legit calico bass using the big bait (7″ MC Swimbait).  He wedged himself deep in the kelp, and I didn’t just force it and pull the hook.  It took awhile, but I eventually worked him out.  I’m a little further along here than on the iron, but still a long way to go.

Brandon Hayward says that if you master catching calicos in the kelp (so including swimbaits), you have the skill to be successful anywhere.

2nd Half Priorities

1. Get that seabass!

2. Take out that big stick and use it.  Mix things up…throw iron on calicos, cuda, yellowtail…even seabass.

3. Spend the time to throw a swimbait.  Don’t always default to bait.  Find a combo (stick, reel, line) that works really well with small swimbaits.

Wish me luck.  Tight lines!





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