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San Diego and Mission Bay
San Diego and Mission Bay
Bay or Surf Trip
People sometimes associate fly fishing, or fishing in general, mainly as a summer time activity. But that's what makes fishing our bays so special. Whether it's Mission or San Diego Bay, both can provide a wonderful opportunity to catch fish all year round. Winter or summer, it really doesn't matter. In all reality, it's probably the most consistent fishery we have here in San Diego County.
The fish that populate our bays, are fish that love to eat the fly. Species include, but are not limited to, orange mouth corvina, halibut, calico bass, sand bass, spotted bay bass, and even bonefish. Yep! That's right! Bonefish! While spotted bay bass are the most common catch, it is not uncommon to have a big halibut or bonefish inhale your fly. Heck.... half of the fun is not knowing what's on the other end of your fly line.
There are several ways to fish the bay including by boat, kayak, or walking and wading. But one of the most popular is by using a float tube or pontoon boat. When out on the water, it is not uncommon to see a flotilla of anglers in their tubes, putting the hammer down on fish!
As far as fly fishing gear is concerned, you can keep things pretty simple. Any 5 thru 8 weight rod, equipped with a 250 grain sinking tip shooting head line, and a few key flies, are all that you really need. Obviously, there are dozens of fly patterns that will work to catch fish here, but if we had to choose just one, it would be the clouser minnow. This fly can mimic everything from crabs to baitfish. Popular colors include chartreuse and white, olive and white, red and white, and blue and white.
One of the most popular questions we get asked about bay fishing is, when is the best time to go? Well, the answer to that is simple...whenever you can! But, if we had to choose, it would be on an incoming tide with 3'-6' of water movement. You might then ask, well, what about on a falling tide? Falling tides are good too, but we prefer the incoming. The key here is water movement. Moving water helps push crabs and baitfish out of hiding, so the more water that's moving, the better the fishing tends to be. Keep in mind that the fish in the bay are just like any other type of fish, they prefer to be in and around structure. This enables them to hide from predators, and ambush prey. It's as simple as this, find structure and you will find fish. And trust us, it is not uncommon to have 20 to 30 fish days. Sometimes it's even more.
We welcome you to come on by The Fly Stop in San Diego and we will get you all set up with everything you need. If you want to really enhance the learning curve, try one of our guided bay trips. Your guaranteed not to be disappointed!
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