View Full Version : Santa Cruz Surf Perch Report for 9-3-05

09-03-2005, 02:31 PM
Much thanks to wading2fish, ken_fishnfool, Rockhopper, bluecrush, and others for helping me out with surf perch fishing info!

Pink Lady and I went out this morning to try for the first time fishing for Surf Perch on the beach. Fished the incoming tide from 8:00 to 11:00 AM and it was nonstop action. We went to Santa Cruz, and when facing the municipal wharf, we walked down the beach to the right towards the rocks that are about 200 yards away. We rigged up a sliding sinker stopped by a barrel swivel, a leader about 24" long and a very small hook (forget what size) with a forest green Kalin's grub with gold and red flecks in it.

First cast, I got a solid bite. Second cast, I hooked into a fish. Wasn't sure what it was but upon bringing it to shore, it was the standard SC special, the jack smelt. I took a pic thinking we probably wouldn't catch many jack smelt in the surf (boy was I wrong):


Shortly after releasing the jacksmelt, Pink Lady caught the first surf perch of the day. Small, but exciting that the bite was so hot.


I finally figured out I didn't need flash on the camera, and got some pics of the first two I hooked into:



From then on, we were constantly catching these sized guys as well as jacksmelt. It was really fun even though they were not very big, But then, I did hook into a big one! He dwarfed all the others we had caught, and was definitely eatable size so we kept him:


Several hours and many many fish later, we called it a day (at about 11:00 AM). We had 3 keepers of I think they are "Barred Surf Perch". I am going to deep fry them right now, but told Pink Lady I wanted to post the report first. ;)


09-03-2005, 02:48 PM
I just cleaned them, and their stomachs were loaded with sand crabs!

09-03-2005, 08:22 PM
cool. Thanks for the report. you had better luck then I have ever had in the surf. ;) I liked the post and the pic where great.

09-03-2005, 10:36 PM
I just cleaned them, and their stomachs were loaded with sand crabs!
Pulper if you can find soft shell sancrabs that would be better than the grubs any time. Try pescadero San gregorio next time on your way back home. lots of red tail . You think those fish are big wait till you hook on some red tails.

09-04-2005, 06:31 AM
great job!!!!!!!!
what beach was that
mybe i'll try it out there
p.s. good fish too

09-04-2005, 08:14 AM
fisherdude4eva, that was the beach in Santa Cruz that is to the right of the Municipal Wharf as you are facing it. It was early in the morning, and overcast, so it was not too crowded with swimming people or surfers.

godson, yea the biggest one was 11 inches, but I know redtail often run 12-15 and sometimes even bigger! I was really wanting to hook into a redtail, but it didn't happen. I assume pescadero San gregorio is a beach? Can you give me approximate directions so I can look it up on a map? We have decided to try a couple different places next time we go out (which may even be tomorrow morning since we had so much fun)

09-04-2005, 08:40 AM
Oooooooo Pulper, that looks like fun. Maybe we'll give it a shot too. Thanks for the pics and congrats!

09-04-2005, 09:58 AM
Cowells beach, on a good day there might be a FEW surfers there ::) ;D ;D ;)

09-04-2005, 03:56 PM
Nice report Pulper. Sounds like it was exciting and fun. How far out did you have to cast? Were you actually in the water(like knee deep or so) or just at the edge?

09-04-2005, 04:34 PM
I was not in the water at all, depending on where the water was, I would just walk right up to the edge of it and cast out. Sometimes I would wait until the water receded as much as possible, and then get a running start and cast as far as possible. On these occasions is where I usually got the jacksmelt. I found that I caught surfperch at all different locations, but it sortof followed this pattern:

As far out as possible: Jacksmelt
Pretty far out: Large surfperch and small surfperch
Close in: only small surfperch

09-04-2005, 06:58 PM
Great report! Ah Cowell beach aka (Rope Beach), long walk but good perch fishing. One of the better beaches for surfsmelt when they come in.

09-05-2005, 01:54 PM
Great job Pulper,
What did I tell ya, you cannot get too optimistic about perch. Sounds like you guys had a great time! I also had a great time this weekend. I posted some pics in the striper board if you're interested. Good job!

For Pescadero beach, look up Pescadero Creek Rd at St Hwy 1 on Google maps, Mapquest, Etc. San Gregorio and Pomponio are just north of Pescadero.


09-05-2005, 02:33 PM
Thanks W2F, I found maps to those beaches and went fishing today, posting a report right now...