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Pacific Northwest Tell us about hunting in the PNW here!

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Old 05-06-2014, 03:35 PM   #1
quattroluvr
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San Diego trip report

Hi PacNW guys,

I was visiting San Diego last few days, till a sinus infection kept me out of the water. Dove last Friday and Saturday, in excellent conditions, 20-35 ft viz at La Jolla shore site. Unfortunately, didn't make it out the half to 3/4 mile to the extensive kelp beds where the White Sea Bass (WSB) are migrating in from blue water right now. A teen spearo recently reported bagging a 66 lb WSB, his 1st. (BTW - J&J mentioned that August/Sept is when some pelagic yellowtails can migrate in to the kelp).

A few observations for other PacNW'ers that get down there...

1. OMG!, the James & Joseph Spearfishing store is AMAZING. Longgggg racks of various open cell wetsuits, 40-50 different free masks to try on, cool floatlines, huge gun selection, super knowledgeable guys. An amazing spearo gear shop. Also online at speardeals.com Zero scuba gear. Your wallet will be lighter leaving this store! (Even a generic Sport Chalet had quite a bit of free diving specific gear.)

2. Saw hardly ANY fish at the La Jolla shore sites near the "children's pool", YMMV. Two experienced locals I went with got zero and 1 modest fish respectively. The shore hunting pressure from spearos and seals is really high, LOTS of spearos hunting at La Jolla shore sites. North county sites have less hunting pressure I hear, though viz may not be as consistent.

3. DEFINITELY rent a kayak, or charter, or whatever it takes to get out to the kelp beds. That's the magic.

4. Wow, are the shore site fish skittish! The few fish I saw scatter and hide under ledges and grass at the slightest glimpse of a spearo. You need really good hunting skills, lots of drops, luck, and a light for looking under ledges. Way more wary than our fish.

5. The shortest gun with double-wrap 20' range punch is the sweet spot, in case you see a WSB, but not too long, for maneuvering in the kelp beds.

6. I was toasty warm in a 5mm Mako suit and 2mm gloves.

7. I was tipped not to keep fish on a stringer on your float, aka "seal buffet". They don't bother if stringer is on yourself.

Leigh

Last edited by quattroluvr; 05-06-2014 at 08:26 PM.
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Old 05-06-2014, 03:59 PM   #2
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Re: San Diego trip report

In your first paragraph I believe you meant in August/September yellowtail can be found in the kelp. Never heard of yellowfin in the kelp beds like that. Not saying it can't happen but would probably be an anomaly. Glad to hear you had a good visit though!
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Old 05-06-2014, 04:06 PM   #3
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Re: San Diego trip report

OP: Thx for the typo catch BugBoy... fixed/edited. BIG difference between a yellowtail and a yellowfin! 'Sinus brain' not very sharp today.
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Old 05-06-2014, 04:50 PM   #4
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Re: San Diego trip report

I figured it was just a mistake but some might not know the difference.
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Old 05-06-2014, 08:33 PM   #5
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Re: San Diego trip report

Sounds like fun nevertheless. Would be awesome to chase White Sea Bass.
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Old 05-06-2014, 08:45 PM   #6
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Re: San Diego trip report

Great report Leigh. Good information there. Thanks!
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Old 05-06-2014, 11:36 PM   #7
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Re: San Diego trip report

Quote:
Originally Posted by BugBoy View Post
In your first paragraph I believe you meant in August/September yellowtail can be found in the kelp. Never heard of yellowfin in the kelp beds like that. Not saying it can't happen but would probably be an anomaly. Glad to hear you had a good visit though!

They have show up. But yes not the rule of thumb.
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Old 07-02-2014, 03:14 AM   #8
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Re: San Diego trip report

OP: 2nd Trip to San Diego, at very end of June. (I go about once a qtr to visit grandson).

Only got out one day of 5 there, other days were pea soup or fam time. yak'ed out to the La Jolla kelp beds. 15'+ viz. 72 degree water temp. But swells wayyy much bigger than forecast, forecast was mild, so hadn't put on my motion meds patch ....ohhh, waving kelp, waving everything... ohhh crap... ooohhhharrrgghblaaaaargghhh.... dry heave, dry heave. watch bait fish swarm on my chum... hope for WSB to show up for bait fish feeding frenzy. No such luck. Too sick to do any drops. Surface hunted for 30-40 min. My tandem yak partner feeling sick too. Yak'ed it back in. Surf is now much bigger on exit beach... managed to smoothly land our tandem yak with a way out and high brace into the face of a wave and some strong paddling by J.G in front.
soooo... next day much better conditions and our 3rd buddy P.Y. goes out again, to the same spot... and bags the attached WSB... while breathing up no less! Had his pick of 5 WSBs at 10 ft depth. He bagged a 38 lber. I'm sooo jealous. <Sigh> maybe next trip to SD, the gray ghosts will favor me with a visit.
Leigh
P.S. I used a Riffe Euro 120. not too long for this style of kelp. can even be useful for laying on top of kelp and sliding along it while you push down the kelp to get to the next 'room'.
Slip-tip is mandatory for WSB hunting. Mori considered the best tip.
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Old 07-02-2014, 10:06 PM   #9
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Re: San Diego trip report

Well Leigh, at least you got to see a white seabass, even if you didn't get to bag it! Thanks for the report!
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Old 07-03-2014, 03:45 AM   #10
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Re: San Diego trip report

Quote:
Originally Posted by quattroluvr View Post
OP: 2nd Trip to San Diego, at very end of June. (I go about once a qtr to visit grandson).

Only got out one day of 5 there, other days were pea soup or fam time. yak'ed out to the La Jolla kelp beds. 15'+ viz. 72 degree water temp. But swells wayyy much bigger than forecast, forecast was mild, so hadn't put on my motion meds patch ....ohhh, waving kelp, waving everything... ohhh crap... ooohhhharrrgghblaaaaargghhh.... dry heave, dry heave. watch bait fish swarm on my chum... hope for WSB to show up for bait fish feeding frenzy. No such luck. Too sick to do any drops. Surface hunted for 30-40 min. My tandem yak partner feeling sick too. Yak'ed it back in. Surf is now much bigger on exit beach... managed to smoothly land our tandem yak with a way out and high brace into the face of a wave and some strong paddling by J.G in front.
soooo... next day much better conditions and our 3rd buddy P.Y. goes out again, to the same spot... and bags the attached WSB... while breathing up no less! Had his pick of 5 WSBs at 10 ft depth. He bagged a 38 lber. I'm sooo jealous. <Sigh> maybe next trip to SD, the gray ghosts will favor me with a visit.
Leigh
P.S. I used a Riffe Euro 120. not too long for this style of kelp. can even be useful for laying on top of kelp and sliding along it while you push down the kelp to get to the next 'room'.
Slip-tip is mandatory for WSB hunting. Mori considered the best tip.
I know that kook I hear that thing tied up pretty damn good on you guys!
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