Another weekend in Big Sur

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Posted by Brendan on May 24, 2004 at 19:12:52:

Location: Santa Cruz

Got back in late last night from another epic weekend fishing and camping out of one of our coves down along the wild coast of Big Sur.

This time I was guiding Michael and Dylan, two kayakfishermen from UCSC who had heard about my trips to Big Sur from Todd at Baysidemarine.
We got down there right before Sunset on Friday, hiked our equipment and camping gear down into the cove, rigged up our boats for an early launch, and after a round of beers were off to sleep. Woke early in the morning to a majestic sunrise over the Ventanas, started our campfire, and ate breakfast burritos and fruit before heading out on the water. We had a small south swell passing through which had me worried the day before heading down. It was minimal and only affected our launch every 3rd or 4th set. Quite often a larger south swell will make it hard to get out of the launches in Santa Cruz and Big Sur so caution should be taken when planning a trip with a south swell in the forecast. However, there are enough north facing launches along our coast to not really make this a problem (unless your northbound launch lies out of the area open for fishing).

Started off fishing the deep reef for reds and copper rockfish. Each of us caught our fair share before heading into the kelp to fish the olives, lings and cabezon. It wasnít wide open by Big Sur standards, but definitely produced fish of good size, and in numbers. Each of us caught over thirty fish that day, taking a few home for dinner that night. I caught my biggest ling yet, which took up the entire tankwell on my Scrambler XT. I had to tie the fish down because it could have easily tipped my boat if it had started a ruckus. My digital camera ran out of batteries otherwise I would have attached pictures to this post.

We then headed in real shallow to fish for the elusive Big Sur sheepshead that had been popping up over the past month. We had hoped for a repeat of our last trip, but ended up catching a few more rockfish, lings and a good sized cabby right outside the tidal drop off.

Headed back in, cleaned up our gear, then took off for a bit of exploring. We ended up hiking the entire lengths of the bluffs to discover a secluded cove with one of the nicest driftwood beach shacks I had ever seen (what a prime piece of real estate, but, I think Iím happy here in Santa Cruz). We hiked down to explore it and found huge lingcod and rockfish bones in one area near the shack. I guess the guy who had been living there was a fisherman too.

Up early Sunday for a repeat of the day before. The fishing was a little bit slower than normal, but wide open when compared with Santa Cruz and Carmel.

You guys gotta get down there. Wide open kayakfishing in one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Iím leading a Big Sur Kayakfishing School down there the weekend of June 26th for $85. Iíll be covering all of my tips and tactics for safely and effectively fishing this rocky section of our coast. I know of a number of launch spots down in the area, most of which donít involve hiking your boat into a secluded cove. Primitive overnight camping and an early morning breakfast will be provided by your guide. Reserve your spot now as this trip is half full already.


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