Thursday, October 11, 2012

Surf Perch

I have been wanting to catch a surf perch for a long time. Granted, they don't get very big, but I find them interesting, and the thought of catching anything in the crashing surf of a beach with a fly rod is really cool. Turns out...it really is cool.

I gave it an attempt last night and managed to catch three, mostly through sheer will and persistent casting. Yes, I had read all the tips, but man...trying to read a "rip" or a "hole" at high tide isn't as easy as it looks. On a beach devoid of obvious tells, I flailed away and stripped flies through the froth. It worked. The fish are aggressive, so if you can show em the fly, they eat. What I learned last night is best summed up thusly.

Surf perch are easier to catch...but really hard to fish for.

I needed some help, so enter Alex from So Cal Flyfishing Outfitters. I hooked up with Alex this morning for a few hours, and it made all the difference in the world. Granted, I don't read a beach like I do a trout stream, and I can't touch Alex in that department, but things started to make sense. I could see what he was looking for, and I put the fly in much better areas than I had been the night before. The result? I caught a ton of perch. They are a schooling fish, so the action was in waves, but when you find a group, you are in business.

I am not dumb enough to attempt to give out tips after two attempts here in San Diego, for that call Peter and Alex at So Cal...they know their stuff. But if you get a chance give this a shot. Standing in crashing surf catching is a unique experience. I can't wait to try it again.

Thanks Alex!

 

 

13 comments:

Ty said...

I dunno John. Steelhead, bass, surf perch. I'm starting to worry about you. Although I gotta admit, that surf fishing looks pretty cool.

e.m.b. said...

Those are dang cool-looking fish! Nice. Good for keeping going!

Alexflyfishsd said...

You did GREAT out there John! Look forward to learning how to catch big carp when I head up your way next summer.

Mr. P. said...

It's always fun to try for new fish.

trashfisher said...

I miss stripping baitfish patterns for school king mackeral and ladyfish in the surf on the FL panhandle. A lot of fun.

Trevor Tanner said...

They are pretty fun. Have only caught a few myself but they sure hit hard! When you gonna try and work out some of your local salt?

fireflyfisherman said...

Surf perch are awesome. Where were you? I went to school out in UCSB and used to fish for surf perch, halibut, croaker and corbina (never caught a corbina but cast at them many times).

Gregg said...

I first read of them in American Angler & FlyTyer in the early 90's by an article from John Shewey. Always been on my hit list, big time. Nice to see what you caught!

Gregg

Wendy Berrell said...

Nice variety. Sweet scale patterns on those fish. Casting in saltwater ~ cool in general.

John Montana said...

Having a good time with the surf thing...much more forgiving here in San Diego than back in OR. The fish seem to be everywhere. Pretty fun, but I really am hoping for a guitar fish.

Brian J. said...

Yes! If you ever want to give it a go up here let me know, I've been wanting to try the salt up here for a while.

cheers

Brent said...

Man, that looks like a whole lot of fun.

Brian Marz said...

John, next thing for you is to have me take you Rock fishing. Way too much fun, and no one does it. Right up your alley.