Monday, December 30, 2013

One more..

I had to get out and chase down some shallow carp one last time before we close out the year..This will likely be the last trip considering tomorrow is it. I fished some areas I have not pounded in a about two months.  There were good numbers of tailing fish up on every flat that was out of range. A few fish came with in 60-70' but it's tough to bomb casts out like that on real skinny water, with out blowing out the fish in closer that you can't see. As the day went on I was able to get some good shots with in 25-30' and fed three. The fish in this water shed are long and lean and motor once they get stuck. They always look the same year round. Crayfish are all over the shallows and they jump dark dad flies.  It was a nice way to close out the year and I will be taking a rest from Carpin the next month or so since my favorite tail water steelhead rivers open on the 1st and I didn't take advantage of some good fishing last year.

I can NEVER get close enough or have the right glass to get
a good clean shot of Kingfishers. They seem to keep that 100' barrier!

Saturday, December 28, 2013


It was a pretty good year all around. Family is happy & healthy, my daughter was married and delivered a perfect grandson. Work was busy and fishing was solid on all fronts both at home and on the road.. I really can not complain one damn bit. Here are a few of my more memorable fish of 2013.  I'm looking forward to the new year with a couple of trips planned. One is  Baja in May and another trip back to LA for Redfish. Have a fantastic 2014!

Early on the Striper fishing was excellent. We had a couple of good fronts that really moved the fish up and they were snapping. The one above was my best Striper for 2013.  I also made an effort to fly fish the surf. It was hit and miss but I scored a few nice perch while i battled the learning curve.

Spring was divided up into Carp, Trout and Bass.. For the most part Spring and summer focused around Carp on the fly. Except for a couple of weeks when I go after American Shad. I fished lots of new water and learned a ton about fly fishing for Tidal Carp and started getting into big fish more consistently than the last couple of year. Mostly due to branching out and simply just finding bigger fish. It was also fun to watch friends get there feet wet with Carp on the fly rod. I really got stoked on streamer fishing for Bows and also made a trek for spring time Lahontan Cutthroat in between the Carpin and wish I had done more!!

Carp continued strong all through the fall to present..I broke it up with some Striper days, Coastal inshore, Trout and a trip back up to chase fall Lahontans and stuck my personal best in the 13lb range.

Another 2013 highlight was a DIY south Fla trip. Storming most of the 7 Days. Baby Tarpon were plentiful but  I stumbled on an area with some big Tarpon in the 20-30lb class.  I jumped half a dozen nice fish one day and caught two. That event turned around what could have been a washed out trip. That's pretty much sums up my 2013 recap. We still have some fishing time left before the ball drops so get out there and have a fantastic 2014!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Carp

This year was quiet and we had done all our family gathering over the weekend and xmas eve so my wife had a fantastic idea to get out and go for a hike. She said I could pick the trail and there was a really good late morning tide swing so off we went.  Just so happens there is fish available on this hike so I brought my gear. And, it also just so happens there were mudding and tailing fish sparsely scattered over this 4.5 mile loop trail adjacent to a tidal marsh and I caught two on four good shots.. Weather was windless high sun in the high 60s and 70 when we got back to the truck at 3pm. It was a great Christmas.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Monterey Bay

We hit the bay on Sunday. It was honking about 15kts out of the N at day break so we went and sat in a Santa Cruz diner for a few and hit the water since it was laying down pretty nice. Turned out to be a Chamber of Commerce day. Bit of advice...Never come to Central or Northern California  in the summer.  Oct-Dec is by far the best weather if there isn't rain. Fishing was good. We caught 25-30 off the local reefs and I just chowed on some fantastic fish tacos about an hour ago. Pacific Rockfish are a Bass like fish and range in the eastern Pacific from Baja north to Alaska. The different species can be similar but will often prefer completely different habitat's. Many Species never come inshore in catch able numbers.

A Great fish on fly and light tackle and are often pretty shallow along the kelp beds, Rocks and underwater Pinnacles from the surface to 60' is the areas I target. Anything below that can't be released alive in my opinion.  They are really the only fish  that I will harvest a few for the table. To damn good not too..We caught Lingcod, Blacks, Brown & Blue Rockfish in good numbers. Also a couple of Canary & Vermilion's with of course small Gopher Rockfish all over the place.  By far the best was the last fish. The beautiful Green ling. Such a cool fish! Being 30 minutes from home is the real bonus though.




Black Rockfish

Friday, December 20, 2013


A Carp video by Ken Hanley that I had the pleasure of being involved with.. Click the link to view in HD

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Winter fishin

The Arctic front that had a grip on us let go finally. It did a number on a few of my plants but we were mostly unscathed and pretty soft when it comes to weather. People in Cali have idea what shitty weather is. Atleast on the Coast anyway. Temps bounced back and we have had a string of nice sunny days touching the 70 mark. So after one bitter cold day skunk on Carp, they moved back in limited numbers again. Egrets are back snapping up baitfish and life is good again.  Not wide open sight fishing but enough shots to keep you walking and looking for more. If, and that's a big if, we can get some warm rain it will break loose. Ocean looks doable to get out on Monterey Bay this weekend so I'm hoping to get some inshore fishing done around the Capitola and Santa Cruz reefs.  Here are some shots from the carp grounds and a photo I took of our almost two month old Grandson that we are really really proud of.. Have a great christmas!


Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Monday, December 9, 2013

Cold snap Carp

With the unseasonably cold weather we are having I thought I would give Carp a shot yesterday. Lows in the high 20s and the high of only 50 is COLD for here. I mean really Cold for Central California Coast.  I know of a slough that has a 15 inch culvert that is a return flow from a cooling tower on a MFG plant so I headed out there. The first mile on the way out I saw a TON of bait, Birds a few small fish cruising. I figured I would just punch the couple of miles to where the pipe flows in and fish my way back which can take about 2-3 hours depending on the shots.  The last Qtr Mile held good numbers of fish and besides freezing my ass off, I ended the day with 4 or 5 fish on about 20 shots.. All cookie cutter 6-8lb .  They wanted to be on the hard bottom areas with cobble and gravel and it worked out pretty well since these areas are skinny and clear.  Tailers were tough! Fish crusing the shallows looking for baitfish ate streamers well though. Maybe the slight warmth of the rocks and warm water coming in was the ticket. Small Mosquito Fish and Smelt were thick and the Carp were pretty aggressive and seemed comfortable with the water temp. It felt like bath water compared to the Air temp!

hooded merganser pair

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

bass fishing

Fall is by far my favorite time of the year.  Especially for Bass fishing. Actually, all year we have damn good fishing but there is something about Fall Bass fishing on California reservoirs. It is arguably some of the best Bass fishing anywhere.  If you put in the time and effort, like with anything else, you are liekley to be rewarded some very large fish. Up until the last 36 hours we had been enjoying an endless Indian Summer with mild day time temps in the 70s and the bass fishing has been great. No Giants by any stretch but good numbers of solid fish ..lakes are turning over or have turned in some cases and bait fish (Threadfin Shad) is all over the water column and so are the fish. I don't fly fish for them..I grew fishing for Largemouth, Smallies and Spots with gear and it has been the one fish that I havn't put much effort in fly fishing for. I more than likely never will for various reasons but who cares really? It's just fishing and all good.