Text, images and video by Craig Smith
As we roll into mid-September and a fall approaches we start to see changes in the bays as water temperatures start to drop from the mid 70s and even near 80 degrees F in the far south bay the fishing remains great. The catching, which is almost always good, becomes even better in many areas. A lot of hot weather inland this summer has brought with it a bit more wind than is typical, making things difficult for float tubers at times; not so much for casting but for drift management and just getting around. Boaters and kayakers can deploy drift socks to slow down wind driven drift, which helps keep the fly down in the fishy zones. The warmest, shallow areas see the larger bay bass mostly vacate those areas (lower oxygen content) until the water cools but some of those individuals around legal keeper size of 14" length are starting to pop up more often, though the far southern areas are still dominated by smaller fish.
During the summer we see the same species we see during the winter including bay bass, croakers, corvina, corbina, bonefish, halibut, needlefish (watch out for the teeth!), and even an occasional calico bass. But we also see more mackerel and bonito start to show up in late summer and early fall. No bonito have shown themselves south of the Coronado Bridge as of the date of this post but we are hoping to see some start showing in the next few weeks. Each year brings something a little different, This year some areas seemed less productive than previous years and other areas more productive. It pays to move about and to get out of the rut off hammering the same areas time after time. One nice thing about the southern areas of the bay is that boat traffic is pretty sparse compared to the areas from the bridge to the mouth of the bay. The northern and outer areas of the bay can be quite productive and hold bigger bass during the summer. There is more boat traffic to contend with, from waverunners and jet skis, to sailboats of all sizes, to cargo ships, and up to aircraft carriers. However the fishing is quite good.
During the summer we see the same species we see during the winter including bay bass, croakers, corvina, corbina, bonefish, halibut, needlefish (watch out for the teeth!). But we also see more mackerel and bonito start to show up in late summer and early fall. No bonito have been seen by us south of the bridge as of the date of this post but we are hoping to see some start showing in the next few weeks. Each year brings something a little different.
So as summer transitions into fall, the south bay bite will get even better and the north and outer bay will stay quite good. We will leave you today with a bit of video that we put together fishing from a boat. This something new for me so we are not talking award winning quality, or even good quality ;~). But it gives you and idea of what casting and catching on the bay looks like. Maybe we will do more video in the future. I guess I need to decide on whether I spend more time developing videography skills or fishing skills. It will probably be fishing!