California Spotted Bay Bass 7-7-17

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Shawn McNew
Posts: 7376
Joined: March 26th, 2011, 8:30 pm
Location: Lake Allatoona

California Spotted Bay Bass 7-7-17

Post by Shawn McNew » July 10th, 2017, 3:05 pm

Took a few days off and jetted out to Cali with the family for my wife to visit her mom and sisters out on the left coast. I was bound and determined to catch my first California fish being this was my 5th time out there and I'd never wet a line. I checked with John DiFederico a few weeks in advance to see what his schedule was looking like and he was going to be out of town in Arizona of all places. I really wanted a chance at a striper, so he's going to have to make it up to me the next time I'm out there. I also know another guy local to the area who used to live here and shop at the Soup store, but he was too busy with work to get out when I had a chance to fish. I also called on my sister-in-law who lives there. Her husband had some unknown rods in a tube that she brought out, that was all I needed was a reel.

So off to the local bait shop I go... I picked Angler Center in Newport because it was closest to where I wanted to fish and looked pretty nice. There was a blonde long-haired surfer looking dude there named Zack who was really helpful and instructed me on how to catch a spotted bay bass which I, and apparently everybody on my facebook, never even heard of. I got set up with a Shimano reel with 10 lb mono, a handful of 4" paddle tail fish bodies in various colors, and a 3 pack of 1/4 oz triangle head jigheads.

Got up early the next morning, actually at 5:30 and dammit if it isn't already fricking light as hell outside! The tide was set to top out around 9:30, so I was hitting the incoming flow just right. I headed to the area he told me to try. Parking was kind of a chore, but our rented Dodge Caravan was easy enough to maneuver. It didn't look great, so I was skeptical. No birds, no sign of fish, just a dock-laden sandy shoreline with dinghys, buoys, and plenty of weeds. I put my bassmaster skills to work and started tossing the jig. It only took about 10 casts before I felt the telltale machine-gunner ratta-tat on my line. I instinctively set the hook from decades of training and came up with nothing. A few more throws later, another tappy tap and another empty hook set. I could tell I was dealing with babies. On about the 4th tap episode, I drove the hook into something and my first spotted bay bass was in hand!

I caught one more about the same size that first morning, and had a few more hits before I lost all 3 of my jigheads to snags of various types. Went back to the bait shop and got some different owner heads that I could rig weedless and would slip through the weeds better which turned out to be the key. The next morning I hit it again and ended up with 5 even smaller bay bass, but it was still fun doing something different for a short time. All in all mission accomplished!

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Mike Werner
Posts: 1784
Joined: March 30th, 2011, 10:41 am
Location: Conyers, GA

Re: California Spotted Bay Bass 7-7-17

Post by Mike Werner » July 10th, 2017, 3:24 pm

Good times Shawn. It's fun to see some different things. I remember getting bailed out of an unsuccessful striper trip by some yellow bass on the jig. Definitely couldn't do it every trip, but as I recall it was pretty fun.

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Scott Hooks
Posts: 77
Joined: May 26th, 2012, 3:57 pm
Location: Dallas Ga

Re: California Spotted Bay Bass 7-7-17

Post by Scott Hooks » July 10th, 2017, 9:35 pm

Looks like a fun trip. It would be fun to put those spots in front of some striper

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