Surf Fishing in Southern California - SC Surf Fishing

How to Fish a Grub

Throwing a MORF (Motoroil w/ Red Flake) grub is easy and is possibly the best artificial lure to use while surf fishing in Southern California.

I have caught a ton of fish in the Southern California surf by throwing the MORF grub. You can catch anything from perch, corbina, croakers, rays, shovelnose guitarfish, and leopard fish with this setup. I'll explain the rig and some methods of fishing below.

The basic Carolina Rig.

The carolina rig - the traditional way of fishing a grub is with a carolina rig (see picture). I usually use a 1/2oz egg sinker, but I'll step it up to a 3/4oz when the surf is big or the current is strong. Lighter weights give the bait a more natural movement and increases your sensitivity to the strike so try to go as light as possible.

Line strength and leader length - I personally prefer a 6lbs mainline and a 6lbs fluorocarbon leader. I vary the length of the leader from 20" to 30" depending on the conditions. Longer leaders allow more movement in the grub but it can also lead to line tangles.

Rigging the grub - Either thread the grub through your hook or hook it on the nose. Check out the How to Rig a Grub article for specifics.

Cast out and retrieve - All that you have to do is to cast it out and reel it in. A slow to medium speed retrieve usually works great. If the bite is tough, trry all kinds of retrieves, like stop and go retrieves, to see what the fish are into. I usually start with a slow retrieve and will speed it up a bit if I'm getting a lot of short strikes. A slower retrieve will keep your bait in the strike zone for a longer time. However, a faster retrieve will sometimes trigger a reaction strike that will fool tentative fish.

Fan casting - Location is the key variable, as with most types of fishing. Cast 45 degrees to the left, straight ahead, and then 45 degrees to the right. If you don't get hit, move down the beach and do it all over again. Don't hesitate to move all over the beach when you're fishing the grub. Before you know it, you'll find a spot that's holding a school of fish.

The strike - You'll either feel the fish hitting the grub, or you'll see the line start to go out faster than the current. Give your rod a quick tug to set the hook once you get a solid strike. Sometimes you'll get tentative strikes where the fish only nibbles at the grub. Just keep retrieving the grub until you feel a solid strike before you set the hook. You'll learn the difference between a nibble and a true hit after you get some experience out on the water.

Get out there and throw the grub if you've never done it before. You'll be surprized at the variety of the fish that you can catch with this simple setup.

Article written by:
Tom Ito (aka Catfish)

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