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Feb 21, 2015 7:51PM Post #1
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If you want to be guaranteed to catch fish you need to try Red Tail Perch fishing. It was allot of fun. lots of ghost shrimps for bait. There is a saying, a question, what fish will eat a ghost shrimp. The answer is the first to swim by. The count landed was lost after 35. Allot were lost in the surf. You are allowed to keep 8 and they have the most delicate filet. The biggest was 13.5 inches and weight 3+ pounds . A lot of fun on light tackle. The danger though is to watch out for the surf. It is so easy to forget in all the action then get knock down. Legs were very tired tensing when the surf hit.
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Edited: Feb 21, 2015 7:53PM
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Feb 22, 2015 8:09AM Post #2
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That looks like lot of fun, l have never tried it though. So a couple of questions. Do you just fish over sandy beaches and only when there are lots of waves coming in? Do you just cast it out, any weight required, and retrieve it or just let it sit and let the waves bring it in? I live fairly close to the beach and will try it soon. Might have to wait a bit because of a recent sea lion migration, there are 100's going by every day for parts unknown (at least to me).
Feb 22, 2015 8:27AM Post #3
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Gil,

Is that from one of the Tofino surfing beaches again?

After I read about your introduction to red tails a year or so ago, I searched out what I thought might be a few likely beaches from Victoria to Jordan River fairly early last year for surf perch but I didn't have any luck at all. I'm tempted to give it another go.

Regards.
Feb 22, 2015 7:58PM Post #4
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Gungadin and OldshoreFisherman

The beach was at Florencia bay a little north of Ucluelet. You need to have strong surf. Usually found on the west side of the island .The beach should be sandy. A sloping beach is best as the surf will roll the sand and expose the worms, shell fish shrimps etc. The only place close to you Cliff is near Sooke would be Jordan river . It has the right kind of surf . But I think allot is rocky beach. It doesn't take much beach so like Florencia bay there is a section of about 500 feet were there is a definite slope were most of the beach is flat. They actually will be cruising in the bubbly surf. Its amazing how close they are. Keep us posted if you find them. We were using 13.5 foot rods and 8 pound test. We found it best on a rising tide. You can use artificial worms or natural bait. They love clam pieces.
Edited: Feb 23, 2015 6:46AM
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Feb 22, 2015 8:10PM Post #5
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Well l will try that in front once we get a little surf going. Ghost shrimp are fairly easy to find here and the sand slope is very slight. You never know 'till you trysmile
Feb 23, 2015 9:22AM Post #6
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removed as I duplicated the post......brain fart
Edited: Feb 24, 2015 9:38AM
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Feb 23, 2015 9:24AM Post #7
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Thought I would repost the Red Tail Surf Perch Article.


I decided to try a new adventure. Surf fishing for Red Tail surfperch with light tackle. One of my fishing buddies Randy has been exploring this surf fishing and invited me to have fun during our off-season for salmon.

The Red Tail surfperch is the largest of the three popular species caught on our coast. You have the striped sea perch, the Pile perch and then the largest the Red Tail sea perch. Their fins have a reddish hue to them. They can reach 17 inches and commonly weigh 2-3 pound though larger specimens have been caught around 4 pounds.

Fishing piers or docks for perch is the safe way but the most adventurists? way is wading in the surf for the Red Tails surfperch.

Surf fishing for Red tails apply from California all the way up to Canada on the west coast. Often in California to Washington state heavy tackle is used in their large surf. Twenty pound test line and 3-5 ounces of weight. Often the cast is as far as possible with two hooks of the main line and then just leave it out there till you get a bite.

Randy had landed 18 surfperch using light tackle the other day on the West Coast of Vancouver Island at Florencia Bay near Tofino. I will be using a slip weight of 3/8 oz. sliding on ten pound main line. Very similar to a California rig when bass fishing. There will be a bead above the swivel to protect the knot and then 2-3 feet leader with a #4 or #2 hook. Since it is shallow water I will experiment with a float also. Similar to steel heading, allowing the weight to bounce along the bottom while keep the majority of the fishing line out of the water.

Due to the high surf and wind on the west coast of Vancouver Island in the Tofino area I will be using our River Creek Rod Seacrest 13-foot ultra light rods 6-10 pound line class. The long rod will be able to keep allot of the line above the surf. That is the challenge to keep up to the slack line that is caused by the surf and maintain a slow retrieve. This is also why we are using mono line instead of braid. Braid line is not as effective under the twisting of the spool of a spinning reel if you can?t retrieve the braided line tight onto the spool. Your mono light line will be challenged also through all the abrasion with the sand milling around. Bring some spare line with you.

The ultra light reels will be the Shimano Stradic Aero 2000, nine ounces and 4000 eleven ounces in weight. They allow large amount of line on the extended spools while maintain a small size.

The best fishing is in the surf as all the natural feed like sand shrimps, sand worms, sand crabs, clam necks are exposed. It also gives them great cover and they will come in with the waves and often be within 20 feet. Soft imitation like the gulp sand worm works great. They are opportunist so little minnows, spinners, anything moving and wiggling or have a scent they will go after. It doesn?t have to be big often soft imitation worm are to long. We will break them into pieces 2 inches.
I will experiment with Ghost shrimps. Using the same set up with the fine wire holding the main body to the hook and line. It's the same as we do for steel heading.
Like all types of beach fishing the first step is to observe the surf. You are looking for slope sandy bottoms, troughs or holes. Often the indication will be areas were the wave surf doesn?t occur or break. You will be able to observe the size and determine if it?s a deep hole or a long trough. All of the natural food stirred up by the surf will settle in these areas and that?s were you will find the perch. You will also want to observe the currents. Which direction the water is moving. Your cast should be opposite the current. If the water is moving to your left then you will cast to your right and allow the weight to settle on the bottom while picking up the slack. Reel in at a speed to keep the line taught but enough retrieve to allow the weight to bounce along the bottom.

With saltwater fishing the fish are effect by tides changes its often best one-hour before and one hour after a tide change. The weather condition also takes in a effect as the wind and surf has to be manageable for fishing.

Always wear a chest or waist belt with your waders. Safety is the utmost importance.

We had a fantastic day at Florencia Bay. With the float method and ghost shrimps I had over 40 on landing 28. Randy was using the California rig with a Grub curly tail and had the same success. Largest was 3 1/4 pound.

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New photos of last weeks outing.

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Edited: Feb 24, 2015 9:35AM
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July 23, 2017 4:57PM Post #8
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Well I've been searching for these little beggars at various west coast beaches between Victoria and Port Renfrew -- often accompanied by my son Reid -- for several years without success. My son is up in Ucluelet now, so I decided to head up and visit him and, among other things, search again for these mythical beasts.

At both tackle shops in Ukee they looked at me like I was from Mars when I asked about red-tailed surf perch. In both shops, nobody had ever heard of them -- and the two women at Pioneer Gear didn't seem to give a rat's ass either. At Cap'n Hook the lady was at least interested so I ended up buying some Gulp Leech from her to give it a shot.

Using the float method similar to a steelhead drift-fishing setup I headed off and managed to at least catch one, but as I headed back to shore I got the idea that some video of me wading through the surf with this beauty would be great. Of course while I was holding the still-hooked fish out of the water with the line and dinking around with the camera the perch managed to flip off, so no fish and no video. I only had one other fish on and it broke off (abraded line, I'm sure) before I could get it to shore.

The next and final day of my trip I went back to Cap'n Hook and bought some squid and headed back to the same beach. This time I abandoned the float method and went with an egg sinker to a swivel protected by a rubber bumper on the main line and then about a three-foot leader -- basically casting as far as possible with light gear and then just bottom-bouncing and letting the surf swirl the leader, hook and squid around. I hooked up on the first cast and it was pretty much non-stop action after that. I'm sure I caught 30 or more and kept my limit of 8, with the biggest one just under 15 inches and weighing two pounds. Most of the rest of my keepers were just around the one-pound mark.

I stopped at Cap'n Hook on my way out the following day to show her some pictures of the surf perch and she really hadn't ever seen one before. Anyway, she appreciated me stopping by with the photos and, since the place oddly doubles as a cappuccino bar, gave me a complimentary fill-up of my travel mug. I'm happy to recommend that place for both fishing tackle and coffee.

I should be able to put together some video over the next little while, but meantime here are a couple of photos.


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Edited: July 25, 2017 12:05PM
July 24, 2017 3:20AM Post #9
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Hi Cliff

Had so much fun when we did it. I am glad you were able to find what works for you. Great adventure and look forward for the video

gil
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July 25, 2017 10:15AM Post #10
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Great post. I have to be honest I had never seen or heard of anyone catching a red tailed surf perch until your posts on the forum here. The reaction from the tackle shops doesnt surprise me although they should have treated you better! Those perch are actually quite a good size! cheers
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July 25, 2017 12:21PM Post #11
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cory wrote:
Great post. I have to be honest I had never seen or heard of anyone catching a red tailed surf perch until your posts on the forum here. The reaction from the tackle shops doesnt surprise me although they should have treated you better! Those perch are actually quite a good size! cheers


Cory,

Gil was actually the one who first posted about the surf perch here -- and he is the one responsible for piquing my interest enough to start wandering around anything looking like a beach with surf down here for the last several years. I finally made it up to Ucluelet and to a beach Gil had fished with Randy a few years ago. Finally, success!

To be fair, the two main tackle shops in Ukee are mostly geared to boat anglers and charter operators, particularly Pioneer Gear, and the staff really hadn't heard of surf perch. What really surprised me at Pioneer was that after a pretty dismissive ''no'' to my query the two clerks ignored me and began chatting away about family matters. At Cap'n Hook where they might service a few more shore anglers (the tackle was smaller and they had a selection of fly fishing gear) the lady at least expressed some interest and said she would ask the guides who came in if they knew anything about surf perch. And she really did appreciate me showing up with the photos before I headed out of town.

Some of the bigger perch can really put up a pretty good fight on light gear. And they are tasty. My wife and I had a couple of fillets last night and she loved them.

Regards.
July 25, 2017 1:48PM Post #12
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The meat is extremely light and delicate . Randy likes to lightly fry and use it in Tacos and like to steam them with a little ginger.

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Aug 13, 2017 1:44PM Post #13
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I will be honest, I also had never heard of these fish either. Other than beach fishing, river fishing, I target smallmouth bass in our fresh water lakes and have fished them with my dad since I was a little kid (4 or 5 years old). This fishing seems similar in some ways (the almost carolina rig setup for example), and might be fun to try. I am glad there is another post about this again, I really liked reading about Gil/Randy's adventure a couple years back. This seems like a neat unique fishery and I bet they do taste good as well. Great post.
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