About a month and a half ago, I knocked off “my first” bean (aka corbina) of the year down in Bolsa Chica.  I said “my first” maybe overly optimistically because it was a bit improbable to think I’d catch more this year, much less a better one.

At the time, it was only the second corbina I’d ever caught.  It wasn’t a trophy, but I’ve seen and not caught this fish so many times that I never take for granted catching one, even a small one.

Then Dockweiler happened…

I had a 3 bean explosion the likes of which I had never experienced before.  I documented the day in my BD Outdoors article for the week.  It was such a good day, I went back again Sunday morning.  Same conditions.  Same fish seen in the surf.  Same result?

The saltwater fly Jim was using

I had met a guy named Jim the previous day.  Fly fisherman.  He was out there with his crew (a couple other fly guys) and they’d been on the spot for days straight.  “Hey buddy, how’s your day going?”  “I got one” he replied.  “What about you?”  “I can’t buy a bite to save my life today!”  “You know why don’t you?” Jim asked me.  “No, why?”  “Because you got 3 yesterday!”  He was right.  Order on the beach was restored.

My girlfriend Terri’s son, Luke, really wants to learn how to be salty.  The kid is motivated.  I showed him how to tie a uni knot.  Then I told him if he could tie it 10x in a row, I’d take him out.  We went that Friday afternoon to fulfill the promise. but it sucked.  It was windy.  The tide was wrong but you can’t just tell that to an 11 year old boy.  He needed to see it for himself.  I didn’t take him the next morning because I left around 5:30am to get to the beach.  “He would’ve gone” she tells me.  So we made plans to go the following Saturday (August 12th).

Having experienced a great day and then skunking the next, I really didn’t know what to expect.  High tide was supposed to peak around 1:30pm.  It was low at 7am.  My plan was to get there fairly early on the incoming tide.  I wanted to make bait, point out topography etc. to the kid so that he could really learn what was up, then see it play out in front of him as the day progressed.

We got to the beach around 8am. It was the exact same spot as I had hit the previous weekend.  Looked about the same.  Saw Jim and his crew out there already.  Couple surfers in the water.  Family early birds were staking out their beach real estate, so the lazy ones could have a prime spot to relax at later.

Luke and I rigged up at the car.  I made him tie his own rig after tying my own so he could use it as a model.  He screwed up one knot that I made him cutoff and re-tie, but otherwise did well.  We were ready.

As we approached the shoreline, I asked him where he thought would be a good spot to start looking for crabs.  “Where the birds are?”  Good instincts kid.  “Yeah, that’s a good idea.”

We set the poles down and started to make bait.  Before we left his house, I had him fish a fast food soft drink cup out of the garbage and Terri found a colander that she was ok with us taking to the beach.  “Bring your cup and the colander.”  I showed him how to spot where the crabs were, and we were able to quickly make bait using the colander to sift the sand in the surf.  We put the choice ones in the drink cup.  I showed Luke how to rig the crabs and we began to fish.

It was early.  I could tell where there were going to be some nice spots once the tide came up.  It was still fishable for now though.  Not the same sign of fish as the previous week’s Spicoli surf fantasy, but I saw some here and there and tried to point them out to Luke.  I laughed when one came up and smacked him on his ankle with its tail.

Two casts in, I caught the first fish of the day, a yellowfin croaker.  Ten minutes later, I caught my better corb (top).  Right after that, Luke got his first surf fish ever, another corbina!  I tried to let him know how big a win that was, but I doubt he realized the gravity of the moment.  He’ll figure it out later.  I enjoyed the big smile on his face.

For the next hour or so it was pretty good.  I got 2 more corbs and a small leopard shark.  Luke got a yellowfin croaker.  All in all, it was a fun day on the beach.  I don’t know where all the surf perch disappeared to, but it’s pretty damn good otherwise.

It’s very difficult right now to get weekend rides.  Surf fishing is a good way to get a little fix in.  Good luck if you get out there.









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