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Old 11-19-2020, 05:10 PM   #1
Salty
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Heading Up North!

Hey all! Hope everyone's doing well. I'm in need of some advice or suggestions for an upcoming trip...

So a buddy and I are heading up to NorCal next week for camping trip. We're bringing our kayaks and gear(both have 2020 Outbacks and will be including waterproof and cold-weather clothes in our bags) and have a few places we're already planning on hitting. The whole trip isn't just for fishing. We'll be doing some hiking/landscape photography as well. But if we can get our kayaks in the water 2-3 times, we'd be stoked. Not planning on keeping any fish unless we get a killer halibut, a fat lingcod or a lucky(legal) salmon or something. Bringing devices to release rockfish at depth too, though we're likely not going to be targeting anything too deep anyway.

So here's my biggest issue: We've never kayaked up that way before. We're aware it's a different world up there. Been there many times, but never on a kayak. Wind, waves, currents, weather are all amplified x 100. So far, the weather looks good for the trip, but the swell is going to be a BIG problem... Literally. Long-term forecast in the region is calling for a huge NW swell, generating waves of over 10-20 feet along most of the coast and bigger in some spots while we'll be there. That means most of of our plans for a reasonable beach launch are probably going out the window...

One of the places we were looking to try first was San Simeon. Looks like the beach is pretty sheltered from a NW swell at least up North inside of the point. Anyone have experience fishing in this area? If that swell is going to be thumping on the North end of the beach, we may just skip it and keep booking it up North to the Monterey Bay area and stick to protected bays or harbors. Want to have some fun and get away, not get myself killed in the process.

Montana de Oro was on our list since I've camped there before. But I know that beach launch will likely not be safe(or smart) when the local swells are calling double-overhead.

Our furthest North destination is a tiny primitive campsite about 30 miles North of Fort Bragg(won't be fishing that spot as a beach launch would be like paddling through Pipeline with this swell...). If anybody has any suggestions for a place to safely get a kayak in the water between LA and Fort Bragg, I'd be extremely grateful. If a campsite is nearby, even better, but we're planning on putting some miles on the truck anyway so that's not a huge deal. Again, not looking for any secret honey-hole numbers. Just general launching areas or local advice. I know there are guys here that have forgotten more kayak fishing knowledge than I currently have accumulated. So any bits or pieces of that knowledge from anyone that's fished this region would mean a lot.

Thanks everyone!

Eric

Last edited by Salty; 11-20-2020 at 01:08 PM.
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Old 11-19-2020, 07:42 PM   #2
cris
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Hey Eric,

Iím in pismo beach till Sunday with my kayak. Planning to to fish tomorrow morning and snorkel/free dive and maybe fish Saturday and Sunday. Port San Luis is fairly sheltered from NW swells and Iím planning to launch there. Pm me your number if you want to meet up!
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Old 11-19-2020, 11:40 PM   #3
JohnMckroidJr
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Consider posting your inquiry on this website:

http://www.norcalkayakanglers.com/in...p?action=forum

Good luck on your trip!
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Old 11-20-2020, 04:42 AM   #4
jruiz
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1. Rockfish can be caught in depths as shallow as 10ft up there.
2. San Simeon is further north than Morro Bay. Do you mean Monterey?
3. Spooner's cove and Leffingwell are pretty protected. With no wind I've launched there when the forecast called for 8-12ft 10s.
3. Most locals do wetsuits and drysuits. This late in the season, I'm not sure if a splash jacket and waders are enough.
4. The rock fish season is shorter up there. I know they open later, not sure when they close.
5. Salmon season closed on November 9. If you are targeting them when in season, be sure to have the needed stamps and gear. Most cattle boats target them exclusively. They don't want to have salmon on board with non compliant fishing gear (barbed j hooks).
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Old 11-20-2020, 10:52 AM   #5
SoCalEDC
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This was going to be my suggestion as well

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnMckroidJr View Post
Consider posting your inquiry on this website:

http://www.norcalkayakanglers.com/in...p?action=forum

Good luck on your trip!

You may also try cckf https://centralcoastkayakfishing.com/

You should recognize this logo btw

Leffingwell is a popular spot. Be aware of GWS up that way, bleeding your fish over the side of the yak can invite them in for a treat.
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Old 11-20-2020, 01:07 PM   #6
Salty
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Thanks for the info guys!

@cris- thanks a ton for the invite! That would be awesome. We're not heading out until Wednesday though, so we'll miss you!

@jruiz- Great info! You're right, I was thinking Monterey, but had Morro in my head for some reason lol. Also, not really a salmon person myself and I've never fished them before. It was really more of a last-minute "Hey, that'd be cool to try for Salmon while we're there" kind of thing. So if the season's over, it's not a big deal. The plan was to stop at some local tackle places and get some intel on what people are fishing for now(what's in season/legal) and scooping up some suggested tackle for whatever we can legally fish for. Also, thanks for the launch spot tips! Will be bringing a wetsuit too.

@JohnMckroidJr- Thanks for the link! I'll check them out

@SoCalEDC- LMAO.... yeah, I feel like I've seen that logo somewhere before..... I'll look into Leffingwell, thanks! And yeah I'm aware of the GWS up that way. Also wary about filleting anything on the beach or campsite with bears in the area. This is why I'm not keeping anything unless it's something REALLY worth it!
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Old 11-20-2020, 01:51 PM   #7
cris
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Launched at Avila today, started off windy with significant swells but i scratched out a limit of rockfish. Stoked for the campfire tacos tonight. The wind had died by the time I was coming back so I poked my nose north around the break wall and itís just so pretty up there. Was out of bait and near my limit at that point so will have to return tomorrow or Sunday morning to explore that area.
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Old 11-20-2020, 04:39 PM   #8
Salty
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cris View Post
Launched at Avila today, started off windy with significant swells but i scratched out a limit of rockfish. Stoked for the campfire tacos tonight. The wind had died by the time I was coming back so I poked my nose north around the break wall and itís just so pretty up there. Was out of bait and near my limit at that point so will have to return tomorrow or Sunday morning to explore that area.
Nice dude! Sounds like a good trip already.
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Old 11-21-2020, 01:04 PM   #9
cris
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Yeah my wife was so stoked and she fried a couple up for fish tacos last night. Got a couple in the trailer freezer for tonight and to bring home.
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Old 11-21-2020, 01:23 PM   #10
Salty
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Yeah my wife was so stoked and she fried a couple up for fish tacos last night. Got a couple in the trailer freezer for tonight and to bring home.
Epic! Everything tastes better around a campfire!!
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Old 11-21-2020, 01:48 PM   #11
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Whole grilled rockfish over the fire tonight, unless I can pick up some perch at the beach this evening
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