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Old 09-11-2018, 07:14 PM   #1
DanaYakAngler
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Inside Dana Point harbor

Wondering what everybody has been successful with inside the harbor. Despite my username I havenít done so well the past few times 😪. Although, I have been fishing twilight after work. Any tips would be appreciated!
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Old 09-11-2018, 08:12 PM   #2
DanaPT
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Dragging live bait and throwing small plastics can be productive.
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Old 09-11-2018, 08:44 PM   #3
DanaYakAngler
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Thank you for your reply. I have mostly been focusing on plastics recently. Mostly hookup baits and underspins. No luck. Havenít fished live bait in the harbor for a bit tho.
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Old 09-12-2018, 06:50 AM   #4
goldenglory18
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are you using scent on your artificial baits?
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Old 09-12-2018, 07:10 AM   #5
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I have always done well with the drop shot and gulp. Then 3Ē big hammers. It also depends on where your fishing and if the tide is moving.
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Old 09-12-2018, 07:46 AM   #6
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I do use scents, however not every time. I should probably make that a habit. If I fish after work I am at the mercy of the tides as I just get on the water when I can. I try to fish as much structure as possible inside the harbor i.e. slips/pilings of dana wharf fleet, the bait receiver, and certain spots on the breakwall. I have seen alot of videos of people drop shotting the berkley gulps. Worth a shot.
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Old 09-12-2018, 08:00 AM   #7
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I always seem to have better luck on an incoming tide inside the harbor. Is that true for you guys? I try to put in time on the water and figure things out on my own, but sometimes like to hear what everyone else is doing. As always, thanks for the replies and feedback!
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Old 09-12-2018, 08:47 AM   #8
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I know for me when I fish bays itís not always about structure. My preferred spots to fish is where I can find an eel grass line where the sand and grass meet. Sometimes Iíll drop down a baitless hook over and over until I can find that situation. Good luck. Or know how to read your fish finder to see the bottom change.
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Old 09-12-2018, 09:04 AM   #9
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Unfortunately Dana doesn't have too much eel grass unless I am mistaken. Some here and there but don't think it has too many healthy beds.
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Old 09-12-2018, 02:50 PM   #10
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maybe you should try your luck outside the harbor. DP harbor is small & crowded. Most of the fish I've caught in there have been small too.

Not to say there aren't any big fish in there, I just think you'll appreciate the occasional hook up of a bigger fish that will tow you around and/or break you off before you see it. That'll keep you coming back for more.
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Old 09-13-2018, 07:42 AM   #11
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One thing I will say is that 90% of the fish I have caught in Dana are off of rock. I used to tube Dana a lot when I was younger and would launch at baby beach and fish by the yacht club. Now all of the bigger spotties I have caught in Dana have been on pilings with water moving. There is some eel grass back by the ocean institute but itís not like it used to be. If you are looking to just catch fish 3Ē big hammers and 3Ē gulp minnows on a drop shot. Fish the big hammers over the rocks and the drop shot where the rock meets the sand or pitching it to a piling. Hookup baits will probably work swimming them over the rocks I guess. I know we talked about fishing together but unfortunately for me I just had shoulder surgery and will most likely be out for the rest of the year.
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Old 09-13-2018, 08:57 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanaPT View Post
maybe you should try your luck outside the harbor. DP harbor is small & crowded. Most of the fish I've caught in there have been small too.

Not to say there aren't any big fish in there, I just think you'll appreciate the occasional hook up of a bigger fish that will tow you around and/or break you off before you see it. That'll keep you coming back for more.


Yea, I fish outside when I have more time. When I go after work I tend to stay inside because of time constraints. I hear ya on the outside action tho.
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Old 09-13-2018, 08:59 AM   #13
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bummer man, sorry about the shoulder.
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Old 09-14-2018, 11:23 AM   #14
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I float tube the harbor and launch from baby beach and fish the boat slips. I use light rods and tackle. Hookup baits work for me...
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Old 09-14-2018, 03:02 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by TroutBum View Post
I float tube the harbor and launch from baby beach and fish the boat slips. I use light rods and tackle. Hookup baits work for me...

I launch from the boat ramp and never really explore the back of the harbor. Maybe I should check it out?
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Old 09-14-2018, 08:46 PM   #16
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Dana can be a tough harbor to fish. But, there are fish there. 10lb line max and as others have said, small baits. I'd fish a 3/8oz Coolbaits underspin with a 3" or 4" bait. Have had great luck recently using the Keitech Easy Shiner in Shad. I have the 4" and it is slender. Great bait, but they tear easy. So, in the future I'll be saving them for slow days when the fish are really picky. I've also had good luck this year in general using grubs. On the 1/2oz Coolbaits I like the 4" Kalin's in a variety of colors. If you haven't already, go down to Hogan's in Dana Point, pick their brains about what to use in the harbor. They have a great selection of bass fishing tackle.

Forgot to add my all-time favorite retrieval pattern. 3 cranks then pause until the bait hits the bottom, then repeat. I fished that pattern off the Dana Wharf docks for 3 yrs and and caught lot's of Halibut.
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Old 09-19-2018, 08:46 AM   #17
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Dana is a tough harbor to fish, not real big, crowded, lots of traffic.

That said there is sometime a good bite with small halibut and occasionally, legal ones. There are also a population of bass, queen fish, croaker, small barracudas and small white sea bass as well as the occasional leopard shark.

I'd try drifting a plastic and a live bait in and around the private docks, the mouth of the harbor and the mouth of the channel near the party boats.

Or, venture on out to the ocean. If your a little ocean shy, then once you hit the mouth of the harbor head towards the shore line. The area is usually sheltered from the wind and waves. I imagine once you get used to it you'll end up venturing farther out.

Put your time in and you'll find some decent fishing in the area to the south and to the north, as well as the pipeline.

Good luck...
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Old 09-19-2018, 09:44 AM   #18
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Inside the harbor watch for moving water. Fish the jetties where the wind is pushing bait to. I've seen 40 pound halibut pulled out of there... Good luck
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Old 09-19-2018, 11:29 AM   #19
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As always, thanks to everyone on here for their input and advice. It is much appreciated. Think i'm gonna fish off the point this sunday if anyone else is going out, hit me up.
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