All that stuff is cool — really cool – and I love it, but my absolute favorite thing to do down there is to mess around inshore with freshwater bass gear.
The shallow rocks, beaches and kelp lines on both sides of the peninsula harbor a mind-boggling array of finned critters of all shapes and sizes. Many of these species are too small or not good enough table fare to be targeted by other anglers, but who cares? They bite, burn line like crazy and pull a lot harder than anything you’ll find in a lake or river back home.
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So, I’m not sure who originally thought it was a good idea to go spend all day in the blinding tropical sun, hunting for fish that are only slightly smaller than the low-freeboard skiff you’re in and then trying to hook said monster with a wad of feathers and glue, but they tell me fly fishing for tarpon is a blast!
Our pal and Northern California fishing guide extraordinaire, John Klar is officially a tarpon fishing junkie these days and has been making annual treks down to Marathon Key…the epicenter of South Florida silver king fishing.
Though the cold water denizens of Nor Cal’s Redwood Coast are what put grub on Klar’s table, it’s tarpon on flea flickin’ gear that really tickles his Toad (the fly pattern, Tarpon Toad, that is!). Is it the art of the stalk? The act of making a perfect cast to a fish and seeing him turn? Does the rush come from the instant you stick one with some steel? Or when a fish the size of Rhode Island goes airborne?
Perhaps it’s all about getting up close and personal with a fish…touching it…and then letting it go…
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Wahoo (or “ono” if you’re hanging out in the Hawaiian Islands) are one of the baddest fish in the ocean. They can reach speeds of nearly 50 mph, have some seriously nasty teeth and can grow quite large — the world record is 184 pounds. They are a top-notch game fish in tropical and sub-tropical waters around the globe and are divine table fare.
Some folks say that the name Wahoo is a derivation of the name of the Hawaiian Island Oahu…while others say “Wahoo” is what you shout when you hook one. Their Island name, Ono, comes from the Hawaiian word for delicious: ‘ono.
Whatever you call ’em, wahoo are a blast to catch and even more fun to throw on the grill!
Here’s how to catch ’em:
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Rockfishing doesn’t have to be just about the meat. Instead of dragging bloated, bug-eyed bottomfish up from 50 fathoms, try busting out some bass gear and hitting the shallows…it’s a blast!
And it’s not just fun…shallow water rockcoddin’ is also very productive. In fact, some of the best fishing you’ll find these days for lings and assorted other rockfish takes place near the beach, away from where the commercial draggers and big party boats fish.