FlatWing

Looking for Oceano Dunes State Park specific recommendations

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One of my In-laws in the area of Oceano Dunes wants to get into surf fishing there, using his SUV to access the beach.  Although our causes are not the same, like me, he would only be able to access the sand there, due to his recent spine surgery to remove a (thankfully) benign tumor.  I want to send him some of my gear, but have no idea what species he will be able to target there, or how to do so.  Although he has issues, his son, who is healthy would also participate, especially if some fish-fighting challenge was presented by a relatively benign species of shark or ray. My In-law was here for a recent visit, and saw some of my gear, and expressed an interest in casting artificial's vice 100% bait and wait fishing, so any input would be very much appreciated. My attempts at internet search/B&T location have not panned out, other than seeing that the Oceano Dunes State Park beach structure at seems very similar to Hatteras Point in North Carolina, and that there also seems to be some back bay or wetlands areas.  So some specific questions come to mind:

  1. What species are available?
  2. Seeing a generally flat structure, is wading in the surf and/or long casting productive, or are there only fish in the wash?
  3. Can anything be caught on the fly, and if so, what patterns/length would you recommend?
  4. Can anything be caught in the back waters that I've seen on-line?
  5. I have artificial lures that cover the spectrum of water column depth from floating to bottom bouncing with lead head soft bodies and bucktail jigs. My lures range from 4 inch to 9 inch length, with some jointed Creek Chub Pikes and Sebile Magic Swimmers that are even longer (perhaps 12 inches). Lure weights range from 1/2 ounce to 4oz. What, if any, are usable by him or his son in the Oceano Dunes area? 
  6. There is a slight possibility that, when he gets better, the two of them might make a trip 1-2 times a year to fish for Stripers further north, so I was thinking that perhaps one of my older 11ft rods would be good?
  7. Speaking of Stripers, are they ever caught as far south as Oceano Dunes, and if so, how? 
  8. I asked in my 1st paragraph about the possibility of shark/rays - assuming they are catch-able in the Oceano Dunes area, how heavy should the tackle be and how far should he need to cast - here in the northeast, when fishing for Brown Sharks/Sand Dusky/Cow nosed rays, I use 12-13 ft rods capable of throwing 6-10oz and a Bunker Head (another 4-5oz) up to 300ft.

 

Once again, I really appreciate any information, as I feel it would really pick up my in-laws spirits, and give him bonding time with his son, if he could get into this great hobby of ours.

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Can't leave this new guy hanging, so will do my best to answer your questions, although this specific water I am not super familiar with, so here goes; :) 

 

1. Striper, Rock Cod, Ling Cod, Surf Perch, Halibut, Croakers are the species available in that area, for striper this is their southern range and not necessarily as concentrated as they are more Central State, but wouldn't rule them out. Surf Perch fishing should be full swing and would be my first target species, since they are biting, provide lots of action, and are good table fare. Halibut run through Aug into Sept, but tail end of season. Rock fish and Ling Cod around rocky structure, helps to be in a boat, but can target from shore. Croakers I have not fished for but a few times with friends, but know this area is on their Northern range.

 

2.Although there are times when fish are holding out deep. 80% of my surf catches occur in the "wash" as you put it. Short casts right on the edge of the wave break.

 

3. Flyfishing for Perch/Striper- Streamers imitating Anchovies, Sardines, other small baitfish. Clousers are fished often. For perch orange colored shrimp flies and small streamers. Heavy sink tip lines required to get the flys down.

 

4. Backwaters; Croaker and Halibut can be target game species in these areas, check regulations though, as many are marine protected areas with special restrictions. Also back bays can hold shark species and rays especially night fishing.

 

5. For lures all striper lures are useable. Keep in mind most of our baitfish are not as big or abundant like Herring and No Bunker out here, so smaller bait profile baits work best. Also surf out here is usually a lot rougher than out east and the wind is constantly on-shore, so poor casting plugs and bigger lures mimicking bunker can be left at home. I would also recommend picking up some Surf Perch grubs and baits, do some research on here SOL and you will find plenty of info on fishing for them and what to use. (Think Tau, but instead of crabs, these eat sand crabs

 

6. 9-11 ft rod would be a good fit, especially with a faster action that could double it as a perch rod as well.

 

7. Striper have been known to be in that area, but again is the Southern range of their habitat, with the biggest concentration being in SF bay. So worth trying for them to see if they are around, but wouldn't plan a week long trip just for striper or anything.  

 

8. Shark fishing is a possibility, Leopard, Rays, Thresher, skates, would be the most likely shark species you would be seeing in that area. Large Mackerel Chunks. Heavy rod as you described. Will need to get casts out 100-200 yards. Usually Rays during the day and sharks evening into night time, although have hooked the occasional small Leopard during the day.

 

Hope this helps you and your buddy get into some fish and enjoy your visit out West!

 

Linesideslayer

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On 8/28/2018 at 0:02 AM, FlatWing said:

One of my In-laws in the area of Oceano Dunes wants to get into surf fishing there, using his SUV to access the beach.  Although our causes are not the same, like me, he would only be able to access the sand there, due to his recent spine surgery to remove a (thankfully) benign tumor.  I want to send him some of my gear, but have no idea what species he will be able to target there, or how to do so.  Although he has issues, his son, who is healthy would also participate, especially if some fish-fighting challenge was presented by a relatively benign species of shark or ray. My In-law was here for a recent visit, and saw some of my gear, and expressed an interest in casting artificial's vice 100% bait and wait fishing, so any input would be very much appreciated.

 

 

 

I live in the county but I don't fish on that beach--too many people for me. Linesideslayer is correct in his post. Stripers are rare; perch are common and they run BIG in that area, compared to elsewhere. Oceano Dunes is Nirvana for anglers who pursue record size barred surf perch. Best season is winter/spring when they spawn. Bait is popular (sand crabs) but too boring for me. Best lure is a Carolina rig with a small curly tail grub, Big Gulp sandworm, or Krusteaz rubber crab. They will also hit flies and jerkbaits, with the Lucky Craft Flash Minnow 110 being a proven winner for big perch. My favorite spinning rig is the Riversider Steelhead combo from Dicks, loaded with 20 lb braid. 

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