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How to Catch Surfperch

Fall and winter can be an ideal time for surf fishing

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How to Catch Surfperch

Photo by Brian Milne

The fall and winter seasons can be hard on a fly fisher, especially the saltwater variety that likes to cast along the coast.

But if you can catch a break from Mother Nature, anglers should take advantage.

The wide range of fall and winter tides can be ideal for large, spawning surf species like the Pacific Coast’s barred surfperch.

What to look for

West Coast anglers are familiar with these surf fish, which can reach sizes of 17 inches and 4 pounds in some areas.

Barred surfperch are gorgeous for a surf species, with vertical bronze bars and spots on each side.

Wader-clad fly fishermen seem to have the most luck finding these species along the surf zone. That’s where the big ones are, swimming in schools along the breaks.

Silver, calico, redtail and smaller walleye surfperch can also be caught up and down the coast.

Fly anglers also have a chance of catching other transitional surf zone species such as striped bass and steelhead as they stack up near inlets and estuaries, not to mention traditional saltwater-only species like jacks, corbina, croaker and halibut.

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