Central Cal Rockfish/Ling Opener July 1-July 3

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Posted by jas on 19:38:12 07/03/03

Just got back from San Simeon. JCeviche and I (along with the families) hooked up for a few days of camping up in San Simeon. We decided we were going to strictly fish Cambria, just south of San Simeon - the entire time we were there. Jimbo hooked up with us at the camp site for one night so we can all charge the early in the am on July 1st.
Super, super foggy morning (good sign...no wind). I stayed close to Johnny and his GPS as we lost a visual of the shoreline though I always had the compass handy and took a berring on the way out. It really came in handy that am though I think Jimbo could find a boiler rock a mile away if he had too...he knows the place so well.
The GPS was also nice for resetting our drifts on the zones we found to be productive. Even if we found a few hot zones, Ceviche wanted to explore and map out the area; we didn't stick around in the same area for too long regardless if it was paying off. That was fine with me because I needed to spend more time getting to know the area.
Needless to say, there was no shortage of lings and rocks but I wouldn't say it was an all out bite. We worked several areas and had good success at many of them but had a few dry spells at different times throughout the day (a dry spell would be an hour or two without a ling). I had success with brown, rootbeer and olive baits and Johnny had success with mack color swim baits. I dropped squid here and there looking for lingzilla but never found one over 28". I'm not sure how many Jimbo caught and released that day, but I'd guess between Johnny and myself we released about a dozen, most being just a few inches over legal.
The Fish Trap swim baits seemed to do the trick as usual. First day I used 6" baits and had good success but couldn't find the Reds other than a 3lbr that jumped out of my lap when I was debating on releasing it or not. Since you can only keep 2 lings and 2 reds, you have to be careful what you keep and what you let go. If the bite's strong and you're pulling "just" legals up, you may want to put'm back if you're looking for the bigfish.
The following day Johnny and I nailed the reds. I'm not good with weight, but I'd say most of them were over 6lbs. Soon the "Ceviche fish bag motel" was full..."fish check in, but they don't check out".

*The weather TOTALLY cooperated with us. We had mild temperatures and mild seas. When you fish Central or Northern Cal (or anywhere for that matter), don't expect ideal conditions. Always scan the horizon and be sure to head in of the wind picks up. It can get nasty quick there.

This was a great trip! We couldn't find the monster lings but we found several legals and the fat reds put a smile on our faces. JCeviche and his wife were a good time and make the best red verm. fish tacos and ceviche I've ever tasted. Though my ling kabobs weren't too bad either.

Life is rough up in Central Cal...


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