Chicago Fishing Forum banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
269 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm still in southern California and plan to stay until about April. I finally figured out how to catch spotted bay bass from shore here. I caught maybe 10 total in 3 outings, all early morning, all on Texas-rigged paddle tails in various colors.

Photos below. These fish are very popular here. They don't get big, but they do slam the lure hard and dig relentlessly. I'd say they're like a large perch or a smallish smallmouth. Nothing huge, but a fun enough way to spend the winter.

Plus I have the chance to catch other species. A guy near me this morning caught a mackerel while fishing for spotties. There are also calico bass and halibut and corbina and corvina (note one letter difference) among others. You never know!
Water Sky Fish Lake Tail
Water Sky Water resources Cloud Lake
Water Body of water Fluid Lake Watercourse
Water Sky Body of water Lake Bank
Water Sky Fin Lake Fish
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
290 Posts
Nice fish, looks like fun! Brings back memories of fishing San Diego (moved to Chicago from San Diego in2008). Curious, is this Shelter Island or Harbor Island? I used to fish Harbor Island from shore. Not on the marina side, but on the main part of the bay. I'd use small root beer colored scampi tails with a bullet head weight in front. Caught a lot of spotties, barred sand bass, and the occasional mackerel. Went early morning on a high tide one time and the fish were just going off. One fish every 2-3 casts. Caught a really weird looking fish one time, long and narrow. When I looked it up it was a bonefish. Not the bonefish of Florida tide flats fame, but some kind of Pacific variety.

I don't know if things have changed much, but most of the fisherman I would encounter were always still fishing with live bait. Very few used lures. I used to do the same for years. I watched a couple of guys walk up with light to medium freshwater gear one time and they were using the small plastic scampi tails. I remember thinking, "these poor guys aren't going to catch a thing." After watching them catch their 5th fish, I gave up the live bait and went to the scampi tails. I think a lot of the live bait guys with the heavy rigs are trying to catch bat rays. Never caught one, but I've seen people hauling them in. They fight like monsters. Hope you enjoy your time in San Diego!
 
  • Like
Reactions: ganz1960

·
Registered
Joined
·
269 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Cool that you lived in San Diego. I really enjoyed my time there. A great place to spend a winter (though it's a little expensive). But a fun place to explore.

The photos in this thread above are actually from Chula Vista Harbor.

You mentioned bat rays. Early on, I hired a guide. We went out in mission bay in kayaks. We caught some spotties on soft plastics. Then I unintentionally hooked into a huge bat ray. Amazing. I have photos in a thread in the "General Fishing Questions and Information" section in December 2021.

You also mentioned mackerel. I really enjoyed catching those on gold or silver spoons at Harbor Island. I have photos in a thread in the WindyCityTavern section in March 2022. I also include a photo here of a mackerel I caught in April at Harbor Island. I like the cruise ship in the background as it heads toward a dock near there.
Water Sky Fishing bait Bait Fishing lure

I also caught several Pacific Barracuda in that same area. Lots of teeth!
Water Sky Vertebrate Fin Salmon-like fish

Fun times and great memories! A couple days ago, I returned to Aurora, IL to try for smallmouth again. Looking forward to it!
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top