The worst day fishing

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Fishing off the rocks at palos verdes has been my favorite place to fish for many years. I've been skunked or close to it more times than I've done well there over the years, but the times i've done well and the sheer beauty of the place have kept me coming back again and again, when I can free up the time to escape.
It's only about an hours drive from where I live, but you have to be willing to climb down a cliff that is around a hundred feet high. This keeps quite a few people away, Which suits me perfect. I've had family members and friends go down there with me at one time or another never to be willing to accompany me again. I get a big kick outa that! Too funny!
Most complain about the climb back up, legs hurting for days and all. I must be part goat.
At high tide on a choppy day there's a greater risk you're taking, fishing out close to the edge, that you'll get washed over by waves or heavy spray. On those days there are places that a wise man just does'nt fish there because the risk is just to great. With the exception of a few stone beaches the whole place is jagged hard solid rock. No sand. You always have to know where to hunker down or where your escape route's are regardles, Before you get started. On one such day I was fishing with a couple of my fishing fiends (yup, spelled that right) when we noticed a guy who decided to fish one of those areas. This particular area is at the furthest inland point of a small solid rock cove that ends in a outcropping higher than all the surrounding rock by quite a bit. It also drops off behind quite a ways farther than the sea side surrounding rock. The cove opens up on one side where the water continues forward to one of the stone beaches. Directly accross from the cove is another large island outcroping of rock coming right out of the sea. Then there's the seaward most side of the cove where the rock is relativley flat and wide, where if the conditions permit its the perfect fishing spot. So it's kinda like a coral. A very productive little area over the years. I once saw a school of white sea bass swim right through before i was set up to fish, Damn! Every so often on that afternoon sets would come in that would break over that outcroping dramatically. The spot was far enough away from us that yelling was useless and he was accompany'd by some friends who were a bit brighter than he was, They fished the safe area and didnt follow him to the death zone, but were shouting distance to him. He was there one minute and the next time we looked over he was gone. We motioned to his friends to look where he had been and sure enough he got washed over. The drop from the other side is jaged and looong. I think he must have been able to hang on to something cause although he got bloodied up pretty good, he survived. He was pissed at his friends for not warning him. Ah youth.
So, it can be a dangerous place to fish.
I remember one of the first times I went fishing here, before we knew about anticipating the tides, we arrived at what must have been a negative low tide that day. The tide pools were one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen! Or probably ever will. Heaven must definatly have a place like what I saw on that day. Neon green and purple anemones everywhere! All different shades and sizes of orange and red starfish! Sea hares! Smaller purple and giant deep dark red sea urchins! All kinds of little crabs, sea plants, muscles, clams, abalone's, a veritable fish nursery!
I havent seen it look like that in years. It almost looks sickly now. I hope its just some cycle and not something permamnent. Starfish were desimated. On this last visit I saw one. One star fish. Does seem like the urchins are coming back though.
Sorry for the rambling post. I wanted to post a few pictures of a couple of areas i visited last weekend when I went there and wanted to give a bit of back ground on my experience there. This was the first ever time I didnt get a single noticeable bite. I fished a good six hours. Bait was brought in untouched. Usually if nothing good sized takes it the senorita fish and the smelt would clean it up. not this time. It was the day after the full moon high tide and boy did the tides take a beating. Lots of plant matter deposited on the high tide line. Muscles washed up onto the shore. Hell I even found a good sized octopus beat up laying on the shore. Meat was fresh from the night before still smelled good. Plenty of bait laying around. On good days the sheer variety of different fishes here is amazing.
It was a foggy day it stayed socked in pretty much all day. I did see a pod of what I think were orcas. Last pic is from the hills looking out over the ocean after i left. A sea of clouds. Pics arent great. WAY better than the best day working.
 

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ilovesprig

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C,

Nice write-up......My mom is from PV and I had a friend that fished here.....I only did it a couple of times with him, but did get about a 4 1/2 lb. calico once on plastic.....Tough place to fish.....Oh, and lost an entire tackle box to a wave..... :lol:
 

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ilovesprig said:
C,

Nice write-up......My mom is from PV and I had a friend that fished here.....I only did it a couple of times with him, but did get about a 4 1/2 lb. calico once on plastic.....Tough place to fish.....Oh, and lost an entire tackle box to a wave..... :lol:
Yeah, I've lost my share of tackle there too!
 

API

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Loved the write up and pictures I fish the surf quite a bit, but seldom get into the rocks and cliffs. Walking in the tidal areas must be really hard on the feet. Ya must have leather soles.
 

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API said:
Loved the write up and pictures I fish the surf quite a bit, but seldom get into the rocks and cliffs. Walking in the tidal areas must be really hard on the feet. Ya must have leather soles.
Where do you fish the surf anyway?
 

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ilovesprig said:
C,

Nice write-up......My mom is from PV and I had a friend that fished here.....I only did it a couple of times with him, but did get about a 4 1/2 lb. calico once on plastic.....Tough place to fish.....Oh, and lost an entire tackle box to a wave..... :lol:
4 1/2 pound calico was a sweet catch indeed.
 

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Nice write up! I know what area you're talking about, definitely a hike. Well, most of PV is. I use a protected area behind a rock in that cove to enter while shore diving. Easy to get in a tight spot there when the surf picks up and you're more focused on Spearfishing than the surge. Sad the urchins have really taken over and killed off a good bit of the kelp. Can still find the fish though on good days.
 

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Fowl Play said:
Nice write up! I know what area you're talking about, definitely a hike. Well, most of PV is. I use a protected area behind a rock in that cove to enter while shore diving. Easy to get in a tight spot there when the surf picks up and you're more focused on Spearfishing than the surge. Sad the urchins have really taken over and killed off a good bit of the kelp. Can still find the fish though on good days.
Love the picture! Great catch! Ive probably seen you over there diving before. Takes a set for sure diving for fish over there. One of these days I've got to try it. Do you use air tank or just snorkel?
 

API

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Loved the write up and pictures I fish the surf quite a bit, but seldom get into the rocks and cliffs. Walking in the tidal areas must be really hard on the feet. Ya must have leather soles.
Where do you fish the surf anyway?
Most often its Northern San Diego County
 

shadowlawnskysthelimit

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Used to love fishing the rocks ! Before I got a boat it was most of my fishing fix. Little too old and out of shape to be climbing around on those rocks !! Really Dangerous chit !!!!
I have fished most rocks and jettys from Malibu to Laguna. Was always afraid of falling into one of the gaps or taken off the rocks by a wave. Would stand at the top of the wall, jetty, or rocks sometimes for 20 minutes or so watching several sets of waves to get a read on the danger of the tide. Always would be fishing top or bottom of the tides or sunrise/sunset. My favorite rocks were old Marineland area, and Laguna areas.

One of my favorite places to fish was the Cabrillo wall ! Most of the time was daybreak, "in the gray". I would park on the hill above the beach, walk down the wall in the dark to the very end in order to fish. I would carry a small backpack with some water and a snack with some extra tackle. Around my waist was a camo fanny pack stuffed full of swimbaits and grubs with an array of leadheads, on my side was a small gaff. Never fished any bait/cutbait. Once on the end i would make my way as close to the water as possible; from there i would start casting in a fan pattern to eliminate unproductive water. 20 or so cast in one spot with no takers meant move on. I never moved futher than just enough to be able to cross over last fan cast to cover all the water best I could.

Some days the fish just flat were not biting, but on the days that it was on it was amazing. I never kept any legal, 12" back then. It had to be 16' or biggeer, but threw most back in the surf. If the Calicos were on when I arrived it was a blast, sometimes fish on just about every cast. Used to blow the minds of the other fisherman on the rocks by throwing back one 12"er after another if the fish were really eating the plastic.

Targeting Calicos primarily, which is not the easiest thing to do since you are dragging the checkerboards towards were they want to saw you off, is a kick !! I fished most of the time with a 6'-6" Muskie pole in 20-40lb; basically a broomstick with a Abu Garcia 5500C3 on it.

When I finally started fishing "The Walls" from a boat; I was out one night with my Uncle and Dad, we pulled up to the Angels Lighthouse to try our luck on the end of the Cabrillo wall. My Uncle looks over at my Dad and stirring the pot he says "Robert, what would you think about a guy who would park his car way up there on the hill and then walk all the way down the wall to right here in the dark just to catch a fish"?? Real quick Dad says"I would think he was out of his damm mind" !! Right then he looks over at me, and I am smiling at him, he says " Yeah that fiqures"!! A few minutes later he keeps looking down the wall and says "Really Son"!! I told him I needed to get my fix, plus loved being on those jettys and rocks "in the gray", you never knew what you were going to catch.

Best catches were a :
4lb Sandie and a 5+ lb Calico on consecutive casts on the Redondo Beach jetty one night.
Took a 16lb Halibut off the rocks in front of the Queen Mary one morning - while a kids baseball team from New Jersey watched eveything from hookset to me slamming my small gaff in the side of the head, then throwing the fish over my head up the rocks.
A 39" WSB from the rocks in the Malibu area, and a 42" WSB off the rocks on The Wedge.
One morning at the end of the Cabrillo Wall I caught 30-40 Calicos in about 1-1/2 hours.

Kinda makes me want to go in the morning - NOT !! For those of you who fish the rocks, be extremely careful out there !! One slip or not taking the time to read the current can be very costly !!
 

TonyS

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Have a friend who twisted his leg into a hole in the rocks and had to have the ligaments replaced in his knee. Be careful!
 

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shadowlawnskysthelimit said:
Used to love fishing the rocks ! Before I got a boat it was most of my fishing fix. Little too old and out of shape to be climbing around on those rocks !! Really Dangerous chit !!!!
I have fished most rocks and jettys from Malibu to Laguna. Was always afraid of falling into one of the gaps or taken off the rocks by a wave. Would stand at the top of the wall, jetty, or rocks sometimes for 20 minutes or so watching several sets of waves to get a read on the danger of the tide. Always would be fishing top or bottom of the tides or sunrise/sunset. My favorite rocks were old Marineland area, and Laguna areas.

One of my favorite places to fish was the Cabrillo wall ! Most of the time was daybreak, "in the gray". I would park on the hill above the beach, walk down the wall in the dark to the very end in order to fish. I would carry a small backpack with some water and a snack with some extra tackle. Around my waist was a camo fanny pack stuffed full of swimbaits and grubs with an array of leadheads, on my side was a small gaff. Never fished any bait/cutbait. Once on the end i would make my way as close to the water as possible; from there i would start casting in a fan pattern to eliminate unproductive water. 20 or so cast in one spot with no takers meant move on. I never moved futher than just enough to be able to cross over last fan cast to cover all the water best I could.

Some days the fish just flat were not biting, but on the days that it was on it was amazing. I never kept any legal, 12" back then. It had to be 16' or biggeer, but threw most back in the surf. If the Calicos were on when I arrived it was a blast, sometimes fish on just about every cast. Used to blow the minds of the other fisherman on the rocks by throwing back one 12"er after another if the fish were really eating the plastic.

Targeting Calicos primarily, which is not the easiest thing to do since you are dragging the checkerboards towards were they want to saw you off, is a kick !! I fished most of the time with a 6'-6" Muskie pole in 20-40lb; basically a broomstick with a Abu Garcia 5500C3 on it.

When I finally started fishing "The Walls" from a boat; I was out one night with my Uncle and Dad, we pulled up to the Angels Lighthouse to try our luck on the end of the Cabrillo wall. My Uncle looks over at my Dad and stirring the pot he says "Robert, what would you think about a guy who would park his car way up there on the hill and then walk all the way down the wall to right here in the dark just to catch a fish"?? Real quick Dad says"I would think he was out of his damm mind" !! Right then he looks over at me, and I am smiling at him, he says " Yeah that fiqures"!! A few minutes later he keeps looking down the wall and says "Really Son"!! I told him I needed to get my fix, plus loved being on those jettys and rocks "in the gray", you never knew what you were going to catch.

Best catches were a :
4lb Sandie and a 5+ lb Calico on consecutive casts on the Redondo Beach jetty one night.
Took a 16lb Halibut off the rocks in front of the Queen Mary one morning - while a kids baseball team from New Jersey watched eveything from hookset to me slamming my small gaff in the side of the head, then throwing the fish over my head up the rocks.
A 39" WSB from the rocks in the Malibu area, and a 42" WSB off the rocks on The Wedge.
One morning at the end of the Cabrillo Wall I caught 30-40 Calicos in about 1-1/2 hours.

Kinda makes me want to go in the morning - NOT !! For those of you who fish the rocks, be extremely careful out there !! One slip or not taking the time to read the current can be very costly !!
Haven't tried the cabrillo wall yet or marineland the area. Sounds interesting. I'm getting the itch already.
 

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API said:
Loved the write up and pictures I fish the surf quite a bit, but seldom get into the rocks and cliffs. Walking in the tidal areas must be really hard on the feet. Ya must have leather soles.
Where do you fish the surf anyway?
Most often its Northern San Diego County


One of these days I'm going to work my way down there. As it stands the furthest south I've gotten would be the Dana point jetty. or is Laguna farther? I forget. I'm a heading north this weekend. Been wanting to try some rocks north of Goleta.
 

ilovesprig

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Kevin,

I bet most these kids on here don't know what Marineland is or was............. :smiley-ugly-lol-bashing-sign:
 

API

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ilovesprig said:
Kevin,

I bet most these kids on here don't know what Marineland is or was............. :smiley-ugly-lol-bashing-sign:
Ah yes, then one day suddenly Corky became Shamu. :smiley-cool-shades-down:
 
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