Sledgematic

Tactics for big swells

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Fri late aft hit the top of outgoing at popular Soco beach/rocks area. Big, long swells..No birds or signs of fish..No hits or follows on usual go-tos in boulder fields that usually produce..Pencils, swimmers. Water looked surprisingly clean for all the wave action. 

 

Any tips from the fishing brainpower assembled here? Was thinking I could head to an East facing location protected from those swells.

 

Thanks!...Sledge

Edited by Sledgematic

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Big bucktails, heavy needlefish. Anything that is going to sink fast and stay down without getting redirected by waves and sweep. I usually just stay with a 2-3oz bucktail depending on how rough it is. 

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33 mins ago, Mack26 said:

SS Bullet Stubby Needle

Just at night or daytime too? Heavy or regular ? This is is a plug I never have fished but I hear more and more guys are fishing these in rough surf with success. 

Edited by VanStaalSteve

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14 mins ago, VanStaalSteve said:

Just at night or daytime too? Heavy or regular ? This is is a plug I never have fished but I hear more and more guys are fishing these in rough surf with success. 

For me Steve, in years past its been a great producer for late season, big swell water that coincides with bad weather. It usually is a daytime bite plug for me. I only started fishing it over the past 5 years or so, but it’s a killer little plug. I really prefer the heavy, i believe it’s somewhere around 2 1/2 oz. It punches through a heavy blow better than any plug i can think of under those conditions. 

Edited by Mack26

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For plugs, my 1st choice prob Bottles or Bottle darter. That big lower lip is going to help dig the plug in with the heavier up/down--back and forth water movement. Sometimes reg swimmers just end up skittering across the top as they lose purchase in bigger water. Bottles also put out some serious vibration to help fish key in on the plug, when waves or swells turn up the noise near shore.

 

Bucktails are also your friend. At least until the weed gets going. Then you're just reeling in 2lb mops.

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40 mins ago, Mack26 said:

For me Steve, in years past its been a great producer for late season, big swell water that coincides with bad weather. It usually is a daytime bite plug for me. I only started fishing it over the past 5 years or so, but it’s a killer little plug. I really prefer the heavy, i believe it’s somewhere around 2 1/2 oz. It punches through a heavy blow better than any plug i can think of under those conditions. 

Thanks bud. I’ll try one the next big blow. I think I have a white and a yellow one. 

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42 mins ago, VanStaalSteve said:

Thanks bud. I’ll try one the next big blow. I think I have a white and a yellow one. 

This has been my most productive color, although the green is a favorite too.

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Be very cautious at high tide stages after dark.  I generally learned to fish after the tide has ebbed a few hours for safety reasons.  It’s one of the few scenarios where I do well with big plugs that dig - like bottle plugs.

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After throwing every lure in my bag in every way I could imagine for 5 hours straight yesterday I had one bump on a tin to show for it and didn't see a single fish caught on the beach. Funny how that one bump can make you fish for another 2 hours when you were ready to give up and it was probably just a random rock that I couldn't find again. So I determined that the best tactic for those conditions was to pack up and get in the nice warm truck and go for a cruise on the shoreline and enjoy the scenery and watch the waves from a distance. Lots of surfing yesterday. 

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2 hours ago, Beachdrivin said:

After throwing every lure in my bag in every way I could imagine for 5 hours straight yesterday I had one bump on a tin to show for it and didn't see a single fish caught on the beach. Funny how that one bump can make you fish for another 2 hours when you were ready to give up and it was probably just a random rock that I couldn't find again. So I determined that the best tactic for those conditions was to pack up and get in the nice warm truck and go for a cruise on the shoreline and enjoy the scenery and watch the waves from a distance. Lots of surfing yesterday. 

I've been holding off giving my answer but it's similar to yours.

On Friday I quickly determined the surf was too much a PIA, especially the way the undertow was trying to drag my feet out from under me. Also, no sign of fish discouraged me from risking a dunking. I spent a while sitting and watching before opting for a backwater spot.

 

I originally started at a different spot, a jetty pocket where big surf tends to break a ways out and create a large zone of whitewater which is easier to fish and almostalways productive. Unfortunately surfers had it locked up.

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10 hours ago, DZ said:

Be very cautious at high tide stages after dark.  I generally learned to fish after the tide has ebbed a few hours for safety reasons.  It’s one of the few scenarios where I do well with big plugs that dig - like bottle plugs.

What Dennis said, especially the safety part.
 

 I don’t like fishing groundswells, especially those that come out of the SE. Usually screws up the current, the sweep, the way the surf makes up differently than it normally would, especially at points. I don’t usually fish groundswells for these reasons and also because my success rate is much lower in these scenarios.
 

If I was fishing those conditions, I’d be up inside, not out front.  If it was just  big surf with lots of wind, different story.... 

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I use a heavier bucktail and the largest porkrind I have for these conditions at the boulder fields. I think it comes down to whatever you can present best that holds in the big water. 

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