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California Spearfishing Talk here about spearfishing on California's Pacific Coast, and post those reports and photos!

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Old 04-06-2018, 05:49 PM   #16
Xylophone
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Re: Moving to California

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Originally Posted by DiverDave43 View Post
There are a few reasons I feel barred sand bass are worthy. 1 they are a lot less common in the areas I dive therefore are harder to find. 2 Iíve yet to have a sand bass come right up to me with no regard of any danger. Unlike sheepshead that will come right up and bump you. Because of that I donít think there is any challenge in shooting sheepshead. The only ďchallengeĒ is finding one. Lastly sand bass actually taste good unlike sheepshead or any of the other fish I mentioned. Also I said that it was simply my opinion of what is worthy take. If you disagree then thatís fine do as you will. If youíre upset by my line of thought whoopty-do I really donít care what you think.
Not upset, just curious. Every sandy or spotty I've ever seen has just sat there staring at me until I went to poke it with my finger so I don't really find them to be a challenge to shoot. The areas I dive are usually under more pressure so I haven't had any sheepies come to me and usually the "bigger" ones tend to swim away, admittedly they're pretty lazy about it though. True, sheephead don't fry very well, but try cooking them in a Thai curry, ranchero sauce or ceviche. They have a ton of meat on them too.

OP, I don't know about you, but I come from a family of meat fishermen. Try everything (except zebra perch) once, there's a lot of fish that are killer eating that aren't targeted much.
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Old 04-06-2018, 09:03 PM   #17
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Re: Moving to California

Chamaco welcome to Cali. my boat is your boat.
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Old 04-20-2018, 10:21 PM   #18
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Re: Moving to California

Welcome back. I haven't dove out of Destin in some years and my old man has also sold his boat but lots of great memories of spearing out there. Seems to be a much better freedive spearing scene there now, too.

You'll want a 5mm out here and generally our fish are much shallower but the hunting is more active and water maybe a little rougher. Our fish are difficult to approach from above compared to what I experienced shooting snapper and grouper out of Destin.

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Old 04-27-2018, 03:34 PM   #19
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Re: Moving to California

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Originally Posted by DiverDave43 View Post
There are a few reasons I feel barred sand bass are worthy. 1 they are a lot less common in the areas I dive therefore are harder to find. 2 Iíve yet to have a sand bass come right up to me with no regard of any danger. Unlike sheepshead that will come right up and bump you. Because of that I donít think there is any challenge in shooting sheepshead. The only ďchallengeĒ is finding one. Lastly sand bass actually taste good unlike sheepshead or any of the other fish I mentioned. Also I said that it was simply my opinion of what is worthy take.
I was very fortunate to have caught a huge +10 pound sand bass from my first shoredive in Southern California while on vacation. I agree with you the big ones are not that easy to catch and can present a challenge. Also caught another fish that is harder to catch in South California than a typical white sea bass. Definitely plan on going on another vacation to California later on but never to live since its way too packed there.
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Old 04-27-2018, 03:38 PM   #20
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Re: Moving to California

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Thanks guys looking forward to meet with all of you. I was going to go today out in Destin but itís too windy and choppy. Question: i have a 3.5 mm open cell wetsuit do I need something warmer for the summer I know the water is cold in Cali. What do you guys think? I do pretty good with cold water but cold is cold and hypothermia doesnít discriminate. Just need an idea for what i need to prepare for. Thank you.
I dove in mid/late October with a 5/7mm wetsuit and felt no cold whatsoever. This size should be good for most diving in Southern California and you can get a smaller/larger thickness if you want depending on current water temperatures.
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Old 04-27-2018, 08:08 PM   #21
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Re: Moving to California

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Get a 5mm open cell 2 piece suit and you should be good year round especially if you pair the top with your 3.5 bottoms if/when the water gets into the rare 70 degree mark. Also Iíd leave alone the sheepshead and opal eyes or any perch. Those fish are for people who are just learning how to spear plus they really donít taste good. Worthy game fish in California imo are calico halibut yellowtail White Sea bass lingcod cabazon ocean white fish barred sand bass vermillion rock fish mahi wahoo bluefin and yellowfin. The last 4 will for sure be the hardest to come by unless you head south to Dana point or San Diego where they are a bit more common by by no means a guarantee.
We don't have wahoo, don't get the floridian's hopes up lol that's a "vacation fish"
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Old 04-27-2018, 08:35 PM   #22
DiverDave43
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Re: Moving to California

Wahoo are extremely rare and I certainly wouldn’t hold my breathe on finding one. However a friend of mine shot 1 off the backside of SCI a couple years back so it is possible. That said with the continual warming of the waters off our coast I wouldn’t be surprised if this becomes more common. You are right though and if his hopes were spurred then my bad for not clarifying. All that said there are still plenty of amazing big game fish off this coast you just need to be able to afford all the damn taxes we have and the ridiculous price of fuel to go get them.
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Old 06-26-2018, 09:08 PM   #23
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Re: Moving to California

Well my long anticipated journey has got me leaving in the Orange County area I am here and eager to get in the water. If anyone is interested in going please let me know. I will go from shore or pitch in for gas on a boat. I do not have a kayak or paddle board. If anyone is willing to show me the ropes around here that would be cool. Thanks.
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Old 06-26-2018, 11:48 PM   #24
darian
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Re: Moving to California

I shot a wahoo a few years ago on the 9 mile bank. i blame luck and a big patch of warm water coming up from the south
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Old 06-27-2018, 12:05 AM   #25
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Re: Moving to California

Had someone tell me surf perch was good, so I poked one at sunset cliffs one day when I was coming back in...I didnt eat it (guilty confession) it smelled way too foul cutting it up for me to want to even try.

Sand bass are EVERYWHERE in San Diego and again, IMOE much easier to shoot than calicos. I have never taken one. But they presented themselves frequently when I lived down there. A friend shot one once, but Im pretty sure I read a warning somewhere about consuming sand bass for one reason or another.

California is loaded with aquatic forage. You CAN eat almost anything you see (just not the big orange ones and the surf perch apparently - yes, Ive eaten opaleye, and yes it was soft and tasted funny). For me, calico and sheepshead arent worth taking a shot, making a noise, and potentially having a seabass, yellowtail or halibut cruise by shortly there after with a stupid little mediocre fish on when you could be drawing a bead on 15 pounds of sashimi (2:1 soya:yuzuit with yellowtail...cilantro or thin jalepeno optional is almost unbeatable)

During the summers depending on the temp you'll get chances to hit up some bluewater game, but this will probably be yellowtail, bluefin, and yellowfin with anything else much less common. I've never had a chance to chase tuna in CA (too much moving around) but it looks like a riot.

There are plenty of great people, and great clubs. My first dive in California was with a poster on this thread and he put me on the best vis I have ever had in a california shore dive and that was probably six years ago. Hit up the great local stores, clubs, etc and eventually you'll start diving with a few other people.

No one is going to tell you where to go - so my advice is that you do what I did. Try to dive each and every shore accessible location until you find what you are looking for. Swell, tide, wind forecasts are your friend, and then just dive as much as possible. I cant tell you how many long hikes with big guns have ended up with me being gassed and having seen nothing in awful vis. But eventually, sooner than youd think, youll find all the fish that everyone seems to not be talking about.

Good luck and enjoy California. Literally everyone I would consider a friend there is someone I have met through the hobby of spearfishing.
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Old 06-27-2018, 02:12 AM   #26
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Re: Moving to California

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I shot a wahoo a few years ago on the 9 mile bank. i blame luck and a big patch of warm water coming up from the south
Yeah there was a year or two there where people shot them. I think a couple were shot in 2014, and in 2015, they were actually a fish spearfishermen could go out and shoot locally. But you can talk to any old timer you want, that was a fluke run of exotic fish that has simply never happened before and in all likelihood, may never happen again. Unless there's a distinct shift in their range due to climate change. But yeah, there's well over a hundred years of local sport fishing history to look back on and there's no wahoo in the mix in any but those recent couple years coming off a super El Nino.

Before those two years, wahoo catches or even bites within hundreds of miles of CA were the stuff of urban legends. Guadalupe island is generally the furthest north place wahoo are caught, and even then, it's a rarity and limited to the warmest water years. Anything even remotely close to normal sea temps means no wahoo within hundreds of miles of CA. Alijos rocks or Abreojos would be a normal north end of their range.
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