Ready for some good old-fashioned sport fishing off the beautiful coast line of California? Well we are here to help prepare you for your relaxing yet exciting experience. By the time you finish getting through this guide, you'll be out catching dinner in no time. The great part about California Fishing is you can enjoy it many different ways. Whether you're out on a boat in the deep sea, on the end of a pier, or knee deep in the surf, you can always count on having a good time casting out your reel. Continue on to find out what to bring with you to boost your fishing performance.
Finding the perfect sunglasses for California fishing can be difficult, but we are making your life easier by telling you right now to look no further than Costa. Costa has amazing combinations of comfort and protection and gives you incredible visibility on a sunny day out on the deep blue. Fish like to swim around kelp and finding a pair of Costas with copper lenses can help the kelp beds stand out against the glaring blue water. On top of that, the copper lenses will actually help you be able to see 20-30 feet down while staying snug and comfortable on your head. Costa also has the blue mirror lenses, perfect for open-water deep sea fishing. These lenses make it easier to block out the sun that glares off the water making it so much easier to find the perfect spot to cast away.
2. Basic Rig Set Up
You won't get anywhere with fishing unless you have the three essentials: a pole, line, and a hook. As mentioned in the video, Ali Hussainy from BD Outdoors recommends a braid line for your pole which is lightweight and allows the bait to swim better attracting more fish. Many stores sell the complete set up all together but many experienced fishermen seek out the best products on the market separately.
Now even with this basic set up, you probably still won't get any bites, because you don't have anything for the fish to bite. This leads us to picking out the right bait. Many experienced fishermen recommend using live bait. However, depending on which type of fishing you prefer, there are certain live baits to chose from. Fishing off of a pier and surf fishing are similar when it comes to which live bait to use, but deep sea fishing can be very different.
Deep Sea Fishing
- Live anchovies or sardines are commonly used off the coasts of California to catch the bigger fish such as the bluefin tuna.
- Colorful and shiny lures are the popular alternative. When the sun reflects off the lures, they look like bait fish swimming which attracts the big fish.
Pier Fishing/ Surf Fishing
- Medium sized soft-shelled sand crabs work great and are easy to come by. All you have to do is dig your hand down into the sand where the tide comes up to, pull out a few and attach them to your hooks.
- Using blood worms, squids, and frozen peas can also be effective.
4. Tackle Box
Having a tackle box by your side while fishing is essential. This is where you store your extra line and hooks in case a big swimmer snaps your set up. Also, you'll store your lures, bobbers, and weights in your tackle box. You also want to have some pliers or scissors handy for cutting lines and removing hooks out of fishes' mouths.
5. Ice Chest/Cooler
Another essential would be to keep an ice chest or cooler nearby for storing the fish in while you take them home to cook up. You don't want your car smelling bad and you want to keep those fish as fresh as possible. The fastest way we recommend to keep your cooler cold is throwing your chilled drinks on the bottom then topping those with ice.
6. Fishing License
A California issued Fishing License is required for anyone over the age of 16 who casts a line in the water. However, the one loophole with California fishing licenses is that you do not need one to fish off of public piers. Other then that, the fine is significantly more than playing it safe purchasing a license. You can do so by visiting the California Department of Fish and Wildlife's website. They are available for single day purchases for around $15 or year long licenses for $50.
Being out in the sun for an extended amount of time can be harmful to your body if you don't have the right protection, especially for those on boats all day. The sun reflecting off the water increases the likelihood of getting sunburned. So make sure you bring at least SPF-50 sunscreen and chapstick and re-apply every hour or so. It also wouldn't hurt to bring a hat with you.
8. Feet Protection
It is very important to make sure your feet stay protected at all times. Fishing on boats and piers, hooks are lying around everywhere, and trust us it is not fun stepping on one. While surf fishing, you must be careful of sting rays so maybe wear an old pair of shoes that you don't mind getting wet. If you can't afford to waste a pair of shoes, then there is a technique for avoiding stingrays. Its called the "stingray shuffle". Just shuffle your feet along the sand without lifting them up and you should be safe. The shuffling creates a loud vibration noise underwater which scares sting rays away.
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