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Big Baits and Big Saltwater Bite

By Rob BelloniFebruary 2, 2002

Big Baits

There's a new section on the main menu for archived main page updates. One day it will make for a good point of reference for bites vs. time of year.

Big is the Theme:
Let's see how many times I can say big in this update. Big fish have been biting in a big way. I had two of the most amazing days of big bass fishing I've ever had in the past month. On January 20 at Coyote I caught and released a 13-7 on the Generic Trout and an 11-0 on an Assalt jig. After getting skunked big time for 5 trips after that day, I hit San Pablo just right and caught and released a 13-2 and a 12-7 on the Assalt jig but lost what was unquestionably the biggest bass I've ever hooked. She was in the 15 to 16lb class. Trust me, she was big! I learned a few things from that one ... Bring a net, a big net, when you're going for big bass. Let your partner do the lipping job if you don't have a big net. If the fish is really hot by the boat, let her go and circle around again. That worked on that 12-7 when she was going ballistic at the side of the boat. Learn everything you can when you hook a big fish and ingraine it into your brain so that the response is automatic next time.

Keeping with the Theme

Everyone wants to know how to catch big bass. I'm not talking about little bass, I'm talking about big bass (we're keeping with the theme). There is plenty of good advice on this subject out there, you just need to listen to it. I have a hard time listening to advice, I'll admit it, but I listen when I hear about big fish no matter who caught them or how. Here is some basics that are working for me right now.

Fish in areas where you stand a chance to catch a big fish. Big points, big pieces of wood, big boulders, big dropoffs.

Fish with a lure that a big fish would want to bite. I look at what Mike Long catches a lot of his big fish on and it's two things. Trout lures and jigs. Big fish like to eat trout and they like to eat crawdads. Just think about it logically next time you are out trying to catch a big fish and you find yourself reaching for a crank, or a small worm, or a ripbait, or whatever else. Did you come to catch fish, or to catch big fish? Do you mind getting skunked because you stuck with trout plug or the jig?

Fish quietly. Don't use the trolling motor too much. I talk to a lot of tournament guys and I ask them, do you fish upwind or downwind? Most will tell you to fish upwind for better boat control and because fish supposedly point their nose upwind or upcurrent. I don't believe in this. Big fish know when you get near them. They KNOW you are there. When I'm in my little boat doing my thing, I fish down wind and downcurrent. I try to drift as much as possible even if it means I drift into the bank or into a prime piece of cover. I am going to start anchoring more soon. It's not the right time for it yet, but I will once I know where some good fish are.

Boy other than that, keep a sharp hook, a good knot and be ready.

Big Saltwater Bites

I'm sorry guys I'm outta touch with the ocean bite so I'll do my best.

Perchin (Big Perchin)

Larry Heron and several other guys have reported some good surf perch fishing for the bigger units. I don't know a lot about perch but it seems like they spawn pretty early in the year, and when they're full of eggs, they're big! Larry and co. have been using light line with small single tail grubs. From what I gather, motoroil is a good all arounder for this. One thing I was thinking might be worth a try would be an orange grub. When I used to fish perch at Hendry's beach in SB I noticed that they loved to eat the eggs out of the sandcrabs. How they did this while rolling around in the surf was amazing to me, but I've always thought since then that it might be worth a try to use an orange grub. Or even better, a grey and orange combo grub. If someone gets on them with this, let me know, I'd love to hear about it.

Big Cods

Should be some big rockfish caught on the March 1st opener South of Pt. Conception. If you guys go after them, do the future a favor and use a big jig or a big bait. Not only will you catch bigger rockfish and more lings, you'll leave a few more of the "keychain" variety down there for the future. I mean, be responsible and catch some big ones, would ya :)

Big Seabass

No one is really on them yet, but March can be a good seabass month especially down at Catalina and the more southern waters. Keep an eye out for that especially in the days before the next full moon.

Big Weather

Spring can see a lot of wind in the SB Channel and all around. Be safe and watch the weather report.

Copyright © Robert Belloni 1997-2012. All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without express written consent.
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