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When I rode the Spitfire on Thursday, Kevin told me that under the Santa Monica pier was a productive spot for surf fishing.  I liked the idea because A) we’d never had much luck surf fishing and now we had some specific intel on a spot, and B) I wouldn’t have to mess with constantly re-applying sunscreen on Juliana if we were under the pier 😉

So Saturday morning, I had Jake check the tide.  Low tide was at 2:38 pm.  The kids and I made a plan to have a picnic lunch in the park off Ocean, then make our way down and do a little surf fishing as the tide came in.

I rigged up poles for Jake and I…Carolina rig with a 1/2 oz sliding sinker and 18″ or so of 4 lb mono leader to these little Mustad hooks that were like a mini-version of an Aki Twist.  While I was rigging up, Jake stripped up the squid we brought for bait.

The idea with surf fishing is that the fish that work the shore rely heavily on scent to locate their prey in the churned up water of the surf.  The sliding sinker allows you to somewhat control your bait placement, but the leader allows the bait to get tossed around in the surf for a natural presentation.  As we approached the surf, sand crab holes dotted the sand, so I knew it would be fishy.  That inkling turned out to be the case, because in less than 5 minutes, I hooked up on leopard shark.

The kids were amazed.  Juj decided she wanted in on the action, so I re-baited my pole and set her up.  Jake hooked up shortly after, kicking off a wide open leopard shark bite for the next hour and a half.   People would occasionally pass and watch us and were shocked we were catching sharks under the pier.  These sharks are completely harmless to humans, but they were scary to most of the passersby and we enjoyed watching their reaction.

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We took turns with the 2 poles and probably could have stayed as long as we wanted catching leopard sharks.  We released all of them.  No other species caught, but we had a blast.  After the hour and a half, we were all soaking wet and needed to dry out and warm up.  The kids were happy though.  As Jake said, we had so much fun…hidden from the sun.

 

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