Fishing in Morro Bay

A lot of field herpers seem to go fishing, or maintain aquariums, as much as they do herp! Any and all things fish are welcome in this forum.

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Fishing in Morro Bay

Post by herpseeker1978 »

We're taking a trip to Morro Bay, CA in March and since I am already buying a fishing license to herp, I thought I might as well bring my fishing equipment along. I know people fish off the pier there, but I have never really ocean fished. I have a lot of trout and bass fishing gear, will this work? Will lures work? What kinds of bait work well, etc? Any info would be helpful!


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Re: Fishing in Morro Bay

Post by VICtort »

HI Josh, the Morro Bay area at times offers excellent fishing for shallow water rockfishes and ling cod. Mostly you would access them with the local pay to play/party boat fishing vessels. Ask around, some are better than others. Years ago I had great catches fishing that area, out of Port San Luis. Make friends with the deckhand, they are there daily and know what works. Ask for his help and listen to him...usually a good angler in the local fishery, not always someone you want to date your sister! (I used to be a deckhand...)

The rocky areas with or without kelp may offer some opportunity to you, fishing for greenling, rock fishes and surf perch. It is pleasant past time, but productive catches often require some local knowledge. There are a few fish all over, but a lot of fish somewhere... be prepared to lose gear to snags, the cost of doing business and learn how to rig to avoid constant snagging.

Surf zone on the sandy beaches in the area might be best for you, as you can use light gear (spinning rod with 10 lb. line) and target the fun to catch and great to eat Barred perch and other surf perches. You can often catch Emerita sand crabs, the best and cheapest bait. This is a pretty general question, not easily answered in one try. You can contact me by PM if you desire.

Surf fishing on sandy beaches is very pleasant if you have waders or wet suit so you stay warm, you will see lots of birds and possibly other wildlife. Watch for brant and other migratory birds. IF you catch some perch, even better, but don't let no catch ruin your day in that pretty place. IF you are serious about catching fish, I would look into a party boat trip. IF you just want to play around, and maybe catch something, try off the rocks or in the surf.

Be very cautious about fishing off rocks, never turn your back on the surf...a few folks are swept away and usually drown each year. But thousands have fun without undue danger. Think about a day trip up to Piedras Blancas to see the haul out elephant seals, impressive if you have never seen them. You might want to make some calls and confirm if they are there and where to park, it may have changed since my days of diving in that area.

Have fun, that is a great place to visit, and excellent birding place in case fishing is not happening.

Good luck, Vic

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Re: Fishing in Morro Bay

Post by Jimi »

Hi Vic, hi Josh!

Great advice (says the guy who pretty much doesn't fish, ha ha). That all sounds about right though, from my long experience on the NorCal coast, and the occasional unavoidable flat-spell fishing outings with good friends who were really into it.
Think about a day trip up to Piedras Blancas
Major thumbs up to this one. Gotta go see 'em, Josh. Just make sure they're around, first.
never turn your back on the surf
This bears repeating. Around Moss Landing can be particularly treacherous, as there's a major submarine canyon there and a lot of energy is focused & directed landward around there. Normal background swells are typically bigger there than elsewhere in the bay, and the risk of sneaker or sleeper waves (caused when several individual "day's normal" swells coalesce into one fattie) is magnified.

Have a great time! Bring lots of wool and/or synthetic layers (including hat & gloves) and a good windbreaker. Chilly, chilly country.


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