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2018 AOTY/DOTY Entry

Topic: Flying for Surf perch?  (Read 1762 times)

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  • Salmon
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  • Location: Alameda
  • Date Registered: Dec 2015
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In my opinion, a 6 weight is only too small when you hook into a striper.  Then you will be bummed if that striper takes you for a ride a 6 weight can't handle.

Perch can be easily caught and landed on a 5 weight, but it is a matter of line weight, fly weight, and how far you can cast.  Most perch flies I throw have weight to them that is not fun to cast with a 5 weight through the surf.
Scott, that's funny, because I had the same thought:  While the fish may be a particular size, the critical piece of the puzzle isn't landing that fish, it's getting the fly way out and against the wind to where they are waiting for my fly. That means we need the V8, not the 4-banger.

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  • Salmon
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  • Kevin
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  • Location: Oregon
  • Date Registered: Dec 2015
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It depends on the 6wt, doesn't it?  Most saltwater rods are quite a bit stronger than freshwater rods and their actions are designed to punch through the wind.

I own an Echo Boost 690-S (saltwater), and in my opinion, it's comparable to a 7/8wt freshwater rod, despite what Tim Rajeff printed on it, and it casts a 350 grain RIO Outbound Short integrated sink tip without a problem.

We have different surf-fishing conditions up here in Oregon and I'm not likely to hook into a striper from our beaches, so my opinion on suitable rods may be (most certainly will be) different than the opinions of folks in California.

But I'm thinking that if I'm having lots of fun catching rainbows with a 5wt in an area that also has silvers, and I hook and lose a silver, I'm not coming back the next day with an 9wt to fish for trout because trout aren't anywhere near as much fun to catch with an 9wt rod.

I like to use a rod suitable for the fish I'm trying to catch, not a rod for every fish that might be in the water.  Just saying.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2017, 02:40:55 AM by Tinker »
"The only person I know who does the yard sale without the huli." - Nobaddays


  • Salmon
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  • Location: Rancho Cordova, ca
  • Date Registered: Jan 2016
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Yah the 5wt is definitely gonna be on the light side. Like these other guys said, if it's only perch you're catching, 5 is fine. But the best part about fishing in the surf is there are many different species that feed in and around the surf zone. Striper, halls, croakers (cali redfish), and if you are in the right place and time you can even get salmon and steelhead.

When I first started in the surf I was told to go no smaller than a 7wt. And I was told right. Some of those striper and halibut in the surf zone are pretty big and will take you for a ride. I use a redington voyant 10ft 7wt. It's fast action so it works well casting a sink/intermediate line. And I also use an echo SR 7wt for those long casts when I wanna get past the break zone to target bigger fish.

As far as flies go, small to medium size bait patterns with light lead eyes work well for everything. And of course the sand flea patterns work for pretty much everything also. If you're just looking for perch, tie some grub style patterns with some sparkle to it. I like using orange chenille for the body and orange saddle hackle spears for the tail. Or you can use the rubber leg for the tail also.

Joe Mag. Green/black WS Radar 135.

"Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
Mark Twain



  • Sand Dab
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  • Date Registered: Jun 2017
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I can't even catch surf perch on a spinning rod! But I joined the Santa Cruz Fly Fishermen club and they have an outing once a month where you can go out with some experienced guys and gals and learn. Good group of people.


  • Sea Lion
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I can't even catch surf perch on a spinning rod! But I joined the Santa Cruz Fly Fishermen club and they have an outing once a month where you can go out with some experienced guys and gals and learn. Good group of people.

The surf is tricky to learn.  But once you can read the water, you up your percentage.  I'm still looking for my first striper in the surf after years of trying.  They just keep evading me!
So long and thanks for all the fish!!!
`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.. ><((((º>`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸><((((º>`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.. ><((((º>

Dark green OK Trident 13

2014 FreshKATS Clear Lake 6th place on the fly
2014 King of the Port 2nd place on the fly
2014 FAOTY Fly Angler of the Year
2015 FreshKATS Rollins Lake Round-Up 1st place on the fly!
2015 FreshKATS Tournament of Champions 2nd place of the fly


  • Sand Dab
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I heard they were getting striper in the surf at Manresa beach.


  • Sand Dab
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  • Location: Watsonville
  • Date Registered: Jun 2017
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My go to spots for Perch and Stripers  is Seascape Beach or Beer Can beach. If you go under the wooden train bridge walk down about a mile to the left there is a nice about 100 yard hole with perch, the stripers are mainly hitting past the second break. Also if your closer to Santa Cruz Sunny Cove beach from 23rd-26th never fails me with perch. Nice fatties there. New to fishing Santa Cruz County but so far those have been my successful spots this year. Good luck out there.
I ain't as good as i once was, but I'm as good once as i ever was.


  • Sardine
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  • Location: Arcata, CA
  • Date Registered: Apr 2018
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I'm sure you know this already but this can become very addicting.


  • Salmon
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  • Date Registered: Jul 2008
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Nice fish and flies!
I like a 6 for perch.   But my 6 cats as far as any rod.
But as stated earlier, you could tie into a 20lb striper.    You could land it but would wish for a heavier rod. 
That 2 hander is good for distance, mending and lifting line off water and iover incoming breakers. 


  • Salmon
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  • Location: Sugar City
  • Date Registered: Jun 2009
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In addition to what ScottV said, keep the 5 weights for trout fishing. Its not fair to the fish to have to fight them so long through the surf.
Dont get me wrong, I like to fish with small stuff, but use tackle that is meant for the situation.