Surf Fishing in Southern California - SC Surf Fishing

Surf Fishing in Southern California - Must Haves

Surf Fishing is one of the easiest things to get into. However, there are a few things that you need in order to get started. Here is a list of the things that you "must have" when surf fishing in Southern California.

1. California Fishing License - You must have a valid and current California fishing license to surf fish in Southern California. You also need an Ocean Enhancement Stamp if you're fishing ocean waters south of Point Arguello (Santa Barbara County), which pretty much includes most of Southern California. Rules and Regulations change all of the time so make sure to check the current laws at Department of Fish and Game. You need to have the license on you and for it to be visible. Don't get caught without one because the fine is steep! Last I heard it was around $500 if not more.

Your license must be visible when fishing the surf

2. A fishing rod, reel, and basic tackle - A little obvious right? However, a lot of new surf fishermen think that you need a 12' rod and a reel loaded with 300yds of 30# line to fish the surf. Although there are situations that call for the above mentioned rig, that old freshwater bass rod is all that you need to catch most of the species around here. Check out the light tackle surf outfit article for specifics.

3. Bait - Fish don't readily bite bare hooks. The more common baits used by surf fishermen in Southern California include sand crabs, squid, mussels, ghost shrimp, lug worms, and blood worms. There are also times when aritficial baits work just as well, if not better, than natural baits. These include soft plastics (e.g., grubs, swimbaits, worms, etc.) and hard lures (e.g., kastmasters, jigs, etc.).

That's pretty much all that you need to get started fishing the surf out here in Southern California. The first time I went out, I took my license, a 6 1/2' bass rod, and a handful of plastic grubs. I caught some Yellowfin Croaker and some perch that day and I remember it so vividly. You don't need much to have a good time surf fishing so get out there and have some fun!

Article written by:
Tom Ito (aka Catfish)

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